Never Too Late

Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Jeremiah 18:6

It was truly a sight for sore eyes. An old piano, sitting abandoned on a sidewalk in Long Island, left to be taken, vandalized, or worn away by weather. Clearly an instrument well beyond its prime, having apparently outlived its usefulness. More valuable as kindling than for music.

Until something remarkable happens. A nondescript senior citizen stops his motorcycle, dismounts, and walks up to the piano. He places his hands upon it and begins to play. It’s a complicated, ragtime-style piece that is delightfully energetic and completely unexpected coming out of these eighty-eight keys doomed for the trash heap. This piano has made music before, but never like this.

But the old man happens to be the Piano Man. Billy Joel, one of the most successful pop artists in the world, who can still command audiences of thousands on the other side of seventy years old. He has coaxed something out of this piano that no one would expect. He stops the music abruptly and tells an unseen companion that although the piano needs to be tuned, and the “finish is beat,” the mechanics are “perfect” and “it’s a perfectly good piano. Then he begins talking about where this piano might be put to good use. He has seen something in this piano, and its future, that no one else could see.

When I saw the video, posted on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7gR5sVm_ZY&app=desktop, I was immediately reminded of Christ healing the lepers and the power of the Savior’s touch to bring life back to something seen by everyone else as ugly, broken, and useless. Seeing what is hidden from the view of mortals, He could take the most shattered of people and make something divine out of them.

I’ve felt like that abandoned piano more than once in my life: Discarded, too far gone with mistakes and failures, useful to or wanted by no one, only to find that there was still something that the Lord could draw out of me, and places that he could put me in service so that I could be a blessing to others.

Watch the video. Listen to the music. And when you feel broken beyond repair, know that you are not a lost cause. You might need a little tuning, and your finish might be beat but the mechanics are all there to still be a blessing to others.

Wait patiently on your own sidewalk until the Master arrives.

Then give yourself to Him.

And let Him play.

If there are here some of you who have been tricked into the conviction that you have gone too far, that you have been weighed down on doubts upon which you alone have a monopoly; that you have had the poison of sin that makes it impossible ever again to be what you could have been, then hear me! I bear testimony that you cannot sink farther than the light and sweeping intelligence of Jesus Christ can reach. I bear testimony that as long as there is one spark of the will to repent and reach, He is there!

Truman G. Madsen
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