I don’t know if I have shared this much on my blog, but I play the piano. I have played since I was four years old. I took piano lessons for a few years, but I had the world’s WORST teacher in my opinion, and hardly learned a thing. I mostly play by ear. I mean I can literally hear a song, and sit down and play it. It is a gift… By that, I mean that it is a present to me from God, not that I’m extraordinarily talented. I can’t imagine another way God could give me to serve Him, that would bring me as much joy as my music does.
I don’t have a fancy music degree, and frankly I have never really studied music. I took a couple theory courses so that I could teach piano, but that’s it. What I can do is straight from God. It is enough for me. I’m content with what I can do, because I am able to use it for God.
In the early 90’s I did have the privilege of working with two professional musicians who taught me how to read chords. One would not take no for an answer, and forced me to play things that were out of my comfort zone. It changed the way I played and created music, and I am eternally grateful to him for that. They never made me feel like I was less than them, even with the musical accomplishments they had. That is not always the case. I have worked with professional musicians who made it clear I was half the musician they were, and I’d leave feeling worthless and discouraged with the talent God gave me. That’s sinful, because God gave me what He gave me, and I shouldn’t compare that to anyone else’s gifts…he doesn’t :)
My friend shared the other day that the Holy Spirit speaks to her when she gardens…something she enjoys. I feel the same way about my music. For several years, my music felt like my only link to God. I struggled with my faith, but God still spoke to me through my music. I think He gave it to me for that reason. He knew there would be a period in my life when I would need it, and it would be all that kept me from running away. It turned out to be that that is exactly what happened…
Last year, I got a horrific ear infection. It was the first one I had ever had, and it was really bad. My doctor thought it was mastoiditis, which is a very severe infection that gets into the bone of the skull. Thankfully it was not that. I lost a significant amount of my hearing because of that infection, and it has never been fully restored. I play on Sundays now with a monitor blaring in my right ear so I can hear.
The past few weeks I have noticed that it is getting increasingly hard for me to hear, and found out today that I have an infection in my right ear now. Thankfully we found it early, and I’m on meds. Hopefully it won’t escalate into the kind of infection I had before.
It is a scary thing for a musician to lose any amount of hearing. I have wondered this week if I’ll someday be listening to the vibrations of the piano like Beethoven, or will have to give up my beloved ministry because I can’t hear. Would I be able to be content with that? I think so. I may not always be able to play publicly like I do now, but because God has given me an “ear” for music, I hear it in my head. I hear symphonies, all the parts playing together, beautiful, wonderful pieces of music. I could play it in the quiet of my home if I’m not able to hear it otherwise, but I will always hear it in my head.
So though the music is fading on the outside, it’s in my heart and my head, and it always will be. I’m praying fervently that God will restore my hearing, or at least keep me from losing anymore. I love what I do, and would be sad to give it up. However, I’m content with whatever God’s will is for my life…