Sunday, June 7, 2009

Recital Weekend Part 2

What a wonderful weekend of piano recitals! I had just enough energy to get through. Thank you for the prayers. They did help.

Carl has been a piano teacher for almost 50 years. I couldn't even begin to count the number of children he has taught in those 50 years. Yet he teaches each student as if they were his only one. To him, they are each special, needing nurturing and encouragement as he teaches them to love music. As I watched Carl with his students during the recitals, I saw example after example of God's love for us, His children.

Carl is an awesome teacher because he has a passion for teaching and a love for his students. He sees the best in them. Not what they are now, but what he knows they can be.

It take a tremendous amount of courage for those children to walk up the steps to the piano in front of an audience and play music from memory. It is a big difference from playing in the comfort of their living room with no one paying attention. Many were nervous, some were afraid, but almost all of them would look over at Carl as they played, resting in the comfort that he was there and believed in them.

Carl doesn't demand perfection from his students. He desires only that they try and do their best. If they made a mistake this weekend, they just picked up and played on. One student, played a piece less than what Carl knew she was capable of. She is the type of student who sets high standards for herself. Carl quietly walked over to her and whispered something. When he was finished, he told the audience that he had heard her play this song at her lesson. He knew what she was capable of and that she was going to play her piece once more. And play she did! Beautifully! Carl believes in second chances and third chances for his students. Whatever it takes for them to succeed.

One by one, as each student went up to play, I watched Carl quietly cheering them on in his seat. As if he could will them into playing well. And when every one of them finished, they immediately looked over to Carl for a smile, a thumbs up or to hear the words "good job." Then, they would smile knowing they had pleased their teacher.

This weekend, I witnessed God's love in action. The lessons that these children learn from Carl will stay with them for a lifetime. His love for them brings out the best that they can be.

And so it is with God's love for us. He teaches us because He loves us. He sees not what we are now, but what we can become with His help. When we are afraid, we need only to keep our eyes on him and know that He is there, wanting only the best for us. He doesn't demand perfection, for His grace covers our mistakes. He is a God of second chances and third chances.

And one day we will look into His face and hear the words we have longed to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."