Sunday, November 08, 2009


This Youtube video entitled "Encouragement" for obvious reasons. Published by the Foundation for Better Life, the idea is that we should encourage others so that we can all have better lives. So far so good, but there are other nuances in this commercial that may be more instructive for believers. The video shows a small boy plunking out "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on a concert grand piano. Clearly, he isn't supposed to be on stage in front of this black-tie crowd. The crowd is nonplussed and somewhat incredulous that this kid would have dared to do this. After all, this isn't what they've paid to see and hear. Perhaps they have been hoodwinked and they don't like it. The kid's parents want to get him off that stage as soon as they can.
The maestro strides on stage, coming up behind the kid who is still plunking. Reaching around the boy, the maestro says "keeping playing" and takes up the tune. The maestro's hands embellish and create a masterpiece of music dependent on and using the simple tones as the structure around which the now grander music is received with wonder and applause by the audience. The audience at first only sees the boy with no talent, no skill. But their eyes are opened and they come to see the magnificence of the greater artist and the combined composition.
Encouragement yes, and a picture of grace as well. Can you see God in this commercial? As we incompletely attempt to live His life in our life we are often seen as amateurs, as children trying to do something that only those more capable can do. We try but we speak and behave amiss as we plunk out our tune. Others may think we imperfect, that we don't know what we're doing. And then, in the midst of our stumbling, bumbling attempts to play the tune we have heard before and which is in our minds, God comes and through us – building on our imperfect attempts – creates a masterpiece of intricate and beautiful music for the world to enjoy.
Which are we? Do we see others who are not as pretty, not as polished, not as capable trying to plunk out the Christian life as we come to expect more sure performance, more finesse in living this life? Can we see God working through and with them? How do we see ourselves when we don't think we're doing well; when we think others don't appreciate us? Can we trust that as we plunk out our tune as best we can, God is around us creating a wonderful concert for those who have eyes to see and who receive our lives as ministries to them?

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