"Practice, Pray and Play!"

Beauty and Truth


Psalm 147: 1,  John 17:17


When I play, I speak beauty and truth to my neighbor.


Truth is that all I have is a gift, and all gifts have a giver. And that Giver gave His all on a Cross to give what never would have been mine otherwise, and If I play, sing, and love for a thousand years it would not come close to equaling that which was, is, will continuously be poured out for me, for all of us…

Beauty is the giving. Beauty is that which reminds a war-torn populace of hope. It is a symphony that transcends the notes. It is a flute program for the underprivileged. It is not enough to play my scales, enjoy the sound of my own metal-laden voice and go home. Someone should leave the concert hall with joy, some with pain perhaps, none with apathy. That one leaves a witness to the transcendental experience to which that one and I have been privy-the music soothes the madmen, whom the ballet of life tilts so precariously towards collapse and then realigns. To recall intrinsic value, the communal orchestra that is a society both discordant and on rare occasion mellifluous, this is beauty.  It is the remembering smile of an old woman who knows the tune, and the wide-eared wonder of a child who hears it for the first time. 

            Someday, one such child may look at my flute, a stick of gold with holes and wonder what on earth I intended to accomplish, devoting hours to it. I would like to tell him that I didn’t devote hardly a single hour to the flute! No, I would explain that I devoted hours of practice to what was inside, that connection to a spiritual expression that escapes description. I would tell him I devoted hours to learning the crossroads between excellence and beauty, never finding the perpendicular path to perfection but eventually realizing perfection wasn’t all that moved men’s souls anyway.  I would tell him life brought shouts of anguish and tears of rapture, to all men, of all stature and all time. I would tell him that, somehow, I had tried to put these into the music.

            Then I would invite him to play.