I was created to come alive through music. Through beauty in many forms--but especially through music.
I was reminded of this last night during my first piano recital in two years.
To get my mind off my nerves, I started the book True Faced backstage. It talks about who we are beneath the mask; who we are at our most vulnerable. We were all created for something very specific, but our failures make us slap on a quick-cover-up mask and pretty soon we forget who we are. We're afraid, too, because failure gives us that vulnerable feeling of nakedness. Just like Adam and Eve, our instinct is to hide it rather than humbly bear it before the Lord.
We forget that grace doesn't mean hiding our stuff, it means standing alongside the Lord and looking at it together.
I relate to this again and again. Specifically when it comes to piano. I love music and piano, but a series of flawed competitions and recitals in my past have made me live in fear of performing. Thus, I've never fully embraced how musically and beautifully inclined I was created to be.
I put my book down about halfway through the recital. Initially, it was supposed to distract me from the discomfort of my nervousness. But once I put the book down, I listened.
As I closed my eyes in the dark, my heart started to fill. It was a feeling of life and strength and bubbles being directly injected into my body. By the time I got up to play my piece, I didn't back down in fear or simply "get it over with."
I sat down, I took some breaths, and I told the audience about God the best way I knew how. I've never been very eloquent with words, but in that moment it didn't matter. I told them about the life that music gives me. I told them with feeling and passion, and I prayed someone might be moved by beauty the way I was.
When I rolled the final chord, I just sat there. I think I was worshipping because my heart was more full then than when I had begun. Only God can work something like that, especially when His creation is doing exactly what it was created to do.
There's still a long way to go in the mask removing process. There's a lot of callous built up over the years. I'm still figuring out how to be okay with past failures without being controlled by them. But if this is the effect of one baby-step, how much more life and abundance does God have in store for His child?