Yesterday, I walked into church, and saw my old piano teacher attending the sunday school downstairs, in prayer. I quickly went into the bathroom with ambivalent emotions. I peeked out the door until they ended their prayer then stood outside so he could see me. Once he did, I just smiled and hugged him. I almost cried, I had to hold it in. It’s been years and this man, I owe a lot to. We went upstairs where I told him to sit all the way in the back so he wouldn’t hear me play the piano. I was so nervous; it felt like it was Tuesday night and I had neglected to practice all my lessons. I asked him to play piano for special number, and thankfully, he agreed. He sat on the 2nd pew from the front, next to the piano, so it made me very nervous…feeling like I had let all those years of lessons go to the proverbial trash. I’m not saying I can’t play the piano anymore, but I can’t play as well as I used to play when I practiced using octaves and complicated chords to fill in the hymns. You see, the way he taught was unconventional. He taught us to take an ordinary hymn and play notes that weren’t there, play chords that weren’t given; we were supposed to imagine them and play-create.
Looking back at the day, as pleasant as his visit was, I secretly wish I was more prepared, so he wouldn’t secretly feel let down. But again, this is just me speaking…I know my playing wasn’t horrible, but I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my best. I let intimidation get to me at some times. But overall, I was happy seeing him, hearing that God still uses him to make beautiful music.
Thank you Joe for teaching me what you know, for teaching me more than just reading what was on the music page, but for teaching me what I can make and feel from the songs. Thank you for teaching me the hymns, for showing me the beauty in their essence. Thank you for showing me the progression of chords, for showing me the fundamental construction of chords and what they can do in a song. Thank you for being the vessel God used to teach me what I need to fulfill the roles I take on today. Surely you were used for a bigger purpose than just teaching me piano.
Thank you Lord for seeing something in me. And for the constant times I said no, thank you for not giving up on me.