Recently my son, Kurt, has decided to start learning the piano, and this has challenged me to sharpen up my own skills. I used to play piano quite often, but I have been so busy lately that I haven’t kept up with it. However, since I have a beautiful tuned piano in my living room, I really don’t have an excuse. Because of this, I have pulled out my music books and started practicing.
On an apparently unrelated note, in the dead of night in 1980, my family and I were attacked by some local Papua New Guinean men in our house in Lae, PNG. They broke locks on the house, tampered with our car, physically attacked me and Edmund, pelted the house with rocks which broke much of the glass and damaged the walls, and left glass shards and rocks strewn around inside our house. All four of my children were terrified.
What ties these two stories together is, of course, the piano. You see, that piano, a simple upright console unit, has been around the world. It was with me for many years in Papua New Guinea as we worked on the Nabak New Testament, and when I could no longer stay in Papua New Guinea, it was crated up and sent to America. It sits now in my living room, and I walk past it a dozen times a day or more.
That piano survived the night of the attack, but she bears some scars now. I suppose I could have had them fixed up, but that didn’t seem right. That piano in a very real way served along side me and my family, helping us do God’s work. Believe me, when there is no television, little radio, and you’re surrounded by a culture that isn’t fully your own, a piano can be a great form of entertainment. It’s also a bonding experience to stand around the piano singing songs together.
That piano earned her scars in God’s service, just as my family earned some of their own scars. That awful night, wondering what was going to happen to us, left a mark on my family, but we aren’t ashamed of those scars, or any of the others we picked up in that far-of land. And so I have left that old, faithful piano with a few dings and scratches. And you know what?
In spite of those scars, or perhaps because of them, she still plays as sweetly as ever!