Making music with our lives

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I sat in the other room listening to my girl plink-plink Beethoven at her piano lesson, silently thanking God for her piano teacher’s patience. They used a tiny clip of a piece to practice, and my daughter stopped after three attempts and asked how Beethoven could write music if he was deaf. The teacher explained that he understood music in his soul even more than he understood it with his ears. His soul wrote music, even when his ears no longer worked. My girl didn’t respond but picked right back up again, missing notes here and there, running through the piece as fast as her fingers could take her. She played it with fervor, but to me, the piece sounds more like a lament.

“Songs don’t stay in one place,” I hear the teacher say. You must use more of the keys for the fullness of the song to come out. You can’t play the same few notes over and over and make music. I hear my girl say, “But I don’t understand!” and I shake my head because someday, she will. On the drive home later, I think about Beethoven and wonder what despair he must have felt at the loss of his hearing. I imagine he wanted to die, when his dreams of making music slipped through his fingers like water through a sieve.

He may have desired death for a time, but we know that he chose life. He lost the ability to perform, but Beethoven went on to compose his most magnificent works after his ears could no longer hear the end result. He knew the shape of his soul curved full and round like a musical note, and when dealt a tragic blow, he decided to continue playing it. Songs and souls don’t stay in one place. They have the ability to stretch and expand, to use the breadth and width of all the keys. Souls aren’t static, and when compelled to move, they create music out of our lives.

I’ve clung to dying dreams, withstood a few tough blows, and tried to understand the world with my ears rather than my soul. But, I’m beginning to play all the notes on the instrument of my life. I know the shape of my soul, and slowly I’m learning to move the breadth of the keys in unison with it. Are you hanging on by thin, tensile strands of an unravelling dream? Have you heard the word “no” so often it’s begun to warp and twist your shape? Come, let us make music together. It may be a song of lament, but it is a song nonetheless.



  • Making a choppy song alongside you Kimberly!! Love this message of hope and truth!

  • Kelleiys

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