As I pulled up to the front of the small country home,
doubts rose in my mind.
How did I get into this?
A few days before I had received a phone call from a woman
asking me to go to her elderly mother’s home
and play some Christmas carols on the piano.
It seemed such a small request so I agreed.
But at the moment I parked my car that day many years ago,
I walked up to the front door,
and noticing it was ajar pushed it open a little.
“Hello,” I called looking into the darkened room.
I thought I heard something so I pushed the door some more.
“In here,” a faint whispery voice answered.
So I stepped in and followed the sound.
There over in the corner of a small room
an old woman sat.
Wrinkled and staring at me through her glasses.
“The piano is over there,” she nodded and I turned.
An old upright piano was pushed against the wall.
After exchanging a few words I walked over
and sat down on the round swivel piano stool.
silence filled the air although Christmas was the next day.
But I had agreed to do this
and I would.
An offering to my Lord.
I opened the book and placed my hands on the yellowed keys
wondering what kind of sound this piano would have.
I soon found out
that it was very out of tune.
Some keys didn’t even play.
Others were stuck
but I continued playing Away in the Manger
quickly learning what keys to avoid.
Music began to fill the small home
and I moved from one song to the next.
I noticed the old woman moving her lips silently to the songs
So I kept playing.
Soon I began to sing out loud
and she joined me.
O Come All ye Faithful
And It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
Beautiful old carols
The more I played it was as if the room began
to glow with Christmas joy.
My audience of one smiled at me
encouraging me to keep on playing.
So I did.
Finally as the darkness outside reminded me
that it was Christmas Eve
I turned to play my final selection.
Silent Night. Holy Night.
almost reverently I played
slowly moving my hands over the chipped and yellowed keys.
I glanced at the old woman
and noticed her eyes closed as she enjoyed the music.
Her one request.
To hear the Christmas Carols played
One more time.
Tears filled my eyes as I played the last verse.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Peace filled my heart in a way that is hard to explain
It was God’s Christmas gift to me
Out of the way
in a most unexpected place
The true spirit of Christmas.
May you experience the real spirit of Christmas yourself this year.
It is there for all those who are ready to receive it. Are you?