The piano bench ministry
By Jill | China
Over the past two years, I would never have guessed the number of opportunities that would come from playing in an orchestra. The opportunities for relationships and conversations are numerous. The other day was no different. Celeste, a young local woman I've known for several years, was passing time at the piano, waiting for practice to begin. I could tell she was just playing for fun, so I felt comfortable sitting down beside her on the piano bench. I had been meaning to catch up with her since our last heart to heart talk months ago, but I was never able to catch her in a more private setting.
I asked Celeste how things had been since our last deep conversation about God, when we had talked whether he was real. At that time, due to some different circumstances, she had been stirred so deeply by the consideration of his existence that her body had shaken in tears as I held her. She had said she needed some time to process our conversation.
One and a half years later, here we were on the piano bench, and I asked her what she had discovered. The last year and a half had been significant. She had learned how great and powerful God really was. Also, even though it would be hard to explain, she knew he was revealing himself to her and helping her, almost speaking to her.
I asked whether she had any sense what would happen to her when she eventually faced death. She said that she did not know. "I don't actually know if one goes to heaven when they die, or if something else happens to them," she said.
I asked her how she could know the answer to that question. I explained that Jesus said he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one could come to the Father except through him [Jesus]. I mentioned that this is the one stark difference from all other religions. Other religions teach people how to strive for goodness. But no one can measure up and actually do it perfectly. God knew we needed Jesus' perfect sacrifice on the cross to make us able (not by our own merit) to be in relationship with God forever.
At that point other young people began filtering in and our conversation ended. I asked if she knew that I am always available to talk. She definitely knew that.
Celeste is on a purposeful journey and I'm thankful to be along for different parts of that path of God revealing himself to her. May she reach her destination!
I, too, am on a journey in this country — one in which I strive to obey God no matter the risk, the heartache or the amount of stretching that needs to be done in my life. He knows what I need and his grace is enough for me.