When I was sixteen I walked into my room one afternoon after school and found the most perfect present I had ever been given: a beautiful, oak-color, upright Yamaha piano. And just as quickly as it came to me I had to sell it when we moved to the USA shortly after.
I started playing the piano when I was three. I was given a toy piano and a love affair began. I was not able to start formal lessons until I was about eleven and, until that day on my sixteenth year, I always had to practice in borrowed piano classrooms.
Playing the piano was my escape during the difficult teen years and when we moved and I had to leave my world behind, one of the most painful things I left was my wooden friend. I vowed I would own another one as soon as I could afford it.
It wasn’t until I had been married three years and we bought our first house that we had the space to put a piano, although not the funds. So I started saving my birthday presents, doing odd jobs to make some extra money and after about a year I had a modest thousand dollars. A thousand dollars for an upright Yamaha is merely pocket change. But Yamaha had the piano that had my heart so Yamaha is what I wished for.
So armed with my pocket change I started searching. Nothing. What I had saved was not enough and I was despairing. At one music store a great salesman almost sold me one for three times what I had, swearing the payment plan would not be bad. Still, Matt and I were tight and a piano payment was like another car payment. Heartbroken I walked away.
Disappointed and eager to get back to playing I had decided to lower my expectations and buy any brand of a piano in semi-good shape that I could afford because I did not want to wait another year or two. One afternoon I spotted an ad in the paper for an upright Yamaha for two-thousand dollars. The owner was moving soon and was motivated to sell. Still, it was double what I had. But I asked Matt to call the man see what he had to offer. We left a message and waited.
It was a beautiful day, so I went outside and laid on my hammock for a while. I started to pray something like this:
Lord, I realize I’m being way too specific with my request, but Yamahas are what I’ve always known and it has been my dream to own another one since I had to sell mine. I also know, Lord, that money is tight and that it would be irresponsible to buy one on payments. I have a thousand dollars, Lord, and I am going to be a good steward of what you have allowed me to save. If a Yamaha is not what I need, then Lord, please send me to the right place and I will buy what I can find for what I have.
And then I must have fallen asleep because Matt woke me up with a look of triumph on his face. You probably know what came next:
“-I just talked with the piano guy. I only told him we were interested in his piano and he blurted out that he was ready to move to Las Vegas and that, while he had listed it for $2000, he will give it to us for $1000 if we can go get it today!”
You bet we did. And I was not worried one bit about the condition of the piano. I knew what I would find when we arrived, and a piano tuner confirmed it about a week later when he told us my beloved new purchase would sell for around three grand at a retail store.
This is a good God, a loving God that cares even about these small dreams and hopes. But it was more than that.
Not only has this piano brought me hours of enjoyment and relaxation, but it became very useful a few years later when I became the piano player in both of the churches we have pastored and I needed to practice at home.
Not only has this piano brought me joy but now I am teaching my little girl how to play and care for this beautiful oak-colored upright Yamaha so much like the one that sat in my room for too short a time.
Last week I wrote about God going before me a decade so I could stay home with my kids one day. This week as Isabel took her piano lesson I was reminded that I have journal after journal of stories of how the Lord has taken care of my needs, present and future, silly and meaningful, big and small.