Do you see what I see?

What I heard surprised me, what I saw shocked me.

What I heard exceeded my expectations, what I saw shocked me.

Since I took piano lessons for eight years and only learned three rudimentary pieces, I am overly impressed by musical talent. I have none. I cannot sing and I cannot read music.

My dad quips,

It took me twenty years to learn to play the radio.

So when I heard the ivories generating a melody of notes and chords, it snagged my attention.

Psalm 149:3, “Let them praise his name in the dance:  let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.” KJV

UNEXPECTED

For reasons I won’t disclose, I consult with a specialist 966 miles away from home. My disease is rare and the treatments prescribed have improved my strength greatly, so the inconvenience is worth the travel. The university hospital clinic is expansive and a grand piano is situated in the center of the lobby. It’s,slick and shiny, oil-like surface.seems out-of-place in the sterile environment.

Job 5:8-9, “If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God. I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises.” MSG

ABILITY

As I entered, I was disappointed the piano was idle and covered. But as I exited, I heard music being coaxed from the keys and was soothed and impressed. As I neared the artist seated on the bench, I noticed she wore shorts and a T-shirt, which seemed odd for such a competent musician. Like many accomplished pianists, she was not looking at the keys, but not for the usual reasons. When I noticed a white cane protruding from beneath the bench, I realized she was blind.

Isaiah 43:21, “The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My  praise.”  NASB

DISABILITY

It would be easy to dwell on all the things I cannot do because of myasthenia gravis. Passionate about physical activity and fitness, I am confined to a body whose muscles fatigue with everyday activities most people take for granted. In fact, the more I do, the less I am able to do. If I could describe this disease in one word: frustrating.

Philippians 4:11, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” ESV

INABILITY

I asked my doctor’s permission to try exercise since I am improving. He consented. Unfortunately, my mental ambitiousness exceeds my physical capability. I am utterly drained by heat and minimal activity. In addition, despite eight years of instruction, I can play little more than Chopsticks on the piano. There are many things I cannot do.

1 Corinthians 12:7, “A spiritual gift is given to  each of  us so we can help each other.” NLT

EQUIPPED

I believe God has uniquely equipped me just the way He wants in order for me to serve Him and bring Him glory. I believe He has equipped you also. Your gift is to help others. I could wallow in what I cannot do and I would be miserable, probably everyone around me would be too.

The works He appointed me to do would go undone if I focused on what I cannot do. It is a natural temptation, but deadly.

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” HCSB

ENABLED

With all my heart, I believe in a sovereign God who sees a bigger picture. He wants what is best for me and I simply must accept it. There is complete peace in surrender. Instead of focusing on what I cannot do, I choose to focus on what I can do. I am enabled by my disability to uniquely serve Him. So are you.

Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” NIV

Do you  see what I see? I see your ability, not your limitations.

Do what you CAN do.

5 thoughts on “Do you see what I see?

  1. If you ever want to try guitar lessons just let me know. My physical limitations are such that teaching guitar / music, playing and performing folk music shows is about all I have strength and energy for. After 33 years working in the mental health field where I felt to work I have been unable to work since 2010. Over time I began to suspect that the continuation of my journey would include my guitar playing skills and knowledge. I’m a self taught acoustic guitarist. I’ve been on our worship team over 30 years. Now I teach guitar / music classes at the Arkansas Center For Music Education. It’s a non-profit music school so no one is turned away due to lack of tuition money. I’m the only guitar instructor there. I perform folk music shows and sometimes make a little money. I also teach private lessons but no active students at present. Most of my work at home is to prepare for the guitar classes that I teach at ACME. Most of the energy I have to use is used for the school. Few people understand that I have to prioritize how I spend my time and energy away from home. It certainly appears to me that using my skills and knowledge of guitar /music is how the Lord wants me to spend my time and energy. These musical adventures are also fun and fulfilling for me.

  2. I, too, have MG. My ambitions are always more than my body can do. I think of it like dreams and desires. Without the ambition, I’m giving up and giving in to MG. I’m not a musician but I get to dream vicariously through the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra. I’m the Business Development director. For two weeks at the end of June I help give the gift of classical music to the Branson, MO area. Then I’m exhausted, but it feels sooo good! The young musicians energize me and I go full tilt for the time they are in my care. I’m proud of you for using the talents you are allowed with MG. Thank you for your encouragement through this blog.

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