From the moment I heard the faint melody of “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy played on the black Steinway piano at the high school graduation I was gripped with this powerful desire to play it myself. I was a high school sophomore without a piano teacher but with a strong love to play the piano better. That day as I sat in the auditorium listening to the pianist play my soul was deeply moved. Yes, I wanted to play that moving song myself.
And I did although it took me a few weeks. Again and again I played it and every time I was touched by its beauty. What was it? A touch of sadness. Maybe triumphant. It can be soothing and calming but also turbulent and emotional. To this day I enjoy playing Debussy’s classic. I can still remember now 60 years later the first time I heard it played and how greatly I was moved. Her touch was exquisite and set the bar high for me to reach.
One person can leave a powerful impact on another. As a first grade teacher I opened up worlds of wonder as I read my students books. My own daughters have sweet memories of times when I read them Pilgrims Progress and many of C.S. Lewis’ books particularly The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Even as I reflect on this- the power of one person to kindle a fire within another- I realize how little we often recognize the power of our lives to change the course of another’s life. Maybe it’s a career decision, or a place to live or even our faith we are oftentimes moved by another. Matter a fact we oftentimes are not even aware how deeply one has touched our life.
Thinking about that pianist and how excellently she played “Clair de Lune” that evening prompted me to reflect on the power to influence we all have. I, for one, want to draw people to a life of purpose, passion and peace. How about you? How are you influencing your world?