I grew up surrounded by music; what I mean is, my Aunt Jane always had a tune on her lips and a melody in her heart. Some of my fondest memories are of her at the piano. She struggled to teach me to play, but this rambunctious boy didn’t sit still very long… yet she was patient with me. What I think I enjoyed the most during the time of those lessons was how it would bring us close, and I could feel the warmth of her love for me. When she got sick and soon passed away, hearing the piano played or even music, in general, lost its appeal.
After Aunt Jane’s death, my time was consumed taking care of my mom, who had previously lost her husband and now her friend; this was a good distraction from the grief I did not want to deal with.
It always amazes me how God knows what we need and stitches it into the fabric of our lives when we need it most. At the time of my mom’s and brother-in-law’s deaths (they died three days apart), God sparked a friendship with a couple that breathed life back into music for us; they acquainted us with songs of hope and prayer. Their album ‘This side of Heaven’ still takes up residence in my car CD player. Among its lyrics are such promises as, “Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see, and when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan, Bow the knee.” Or these words of hope, “when dreams are dashed and plans are spoiled, and I don’t understand, I trust in his unchanging grace and rest within His hands.” With these promises and flowing keystrokes, life was breathed back into my and my wife’s hearts. God, in His faithfulness, knew it would take the piano and a friendship to fill the loss we felt and battle the unbearable grief I had tucked away.
Robert died almost 6 months ago, but he left behind some tremendous blessings. He showed me that genuine friendship was obtainable in this world of self-ambition; he rescued music from its prison of grief and filled it with joy and hope. And even though our plans of ministry together were put on hold, he left me with a vision of what true worship could be. He would often play a favorite of mine, “Till the storm passes by,” I don’t know how he did it, but he could draw out of those stormy lyrics the bright hope of the hymn’s assurance… the promise that God would “hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of His hand, and keep me safe till the storm passes by.”
It’s a sure bet that Aunt Jane and Robert are both enjoying the magnificence of Heaven’s choir. The pair are belting out that ‘New Song’ written for the “Lamb of Glory”; probably showing the angels how to use all the keys! I look forward to joining them one day, but not yet…
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
Think About This: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” ―