Wednesday night, Eva Hart, our ever capable “Choir Mistress” and piano player extraordinaire, share the following story during our devotional time. Eva, during the years she was doing USO tours, had a stopover in NYC. Unlike normal tourists, Eva and a friend decided to visit the Steinway piano factory. This story is hers (as is the emphasis!) and well worth sharing again. What she saw that day in the Steinway factory, made an impact on her that she carries with her today.
“Each piano is made from scratch – (it takes) 11 to 12 months and 450 workers to produce a single instrument.
(The) SOUNDBOARD is stretched to maximum tolerance and has to sit for an extended time (in a corner of the plant) until it remains in the curved design. AFTER THIS STRETCHING, THE WOOD WILL NEVER SPRING BACK – PERMANENTLY CHANGED —The piano is becoming a fine-tuned instrument. IF the soundboard is cracked or broken, the instrument is USELESS to the person who plays it. (Sidebar: Eva said you could play it with a broken soundboard but you would NOT enjoy it!)
The next step requires (placing) 11 TONS OF PRESSURE on a piano to tune EACH of the 240 strings that is necessary to produce the sound on 88 keys.
Thousands of tiny pieces of wood and metal that comprise the sound board and keyboard are THEN placed in the piano shell and a tedious manual tuning takes place – the piano is given an INDIVIDUAL NUMBER and IF purchased at the factory it is signed (our Sanctuary Steinway is signed).
Each instrument has its own personality – NO TWO ARE ALIKE! Some sound small and mellow – these are used for chamber concerts and smaller venues. Then there are the big, percussive instruments used for large halls. Each one of our 9 foot Steinway’s carry this characteristic. (Sidebar: FBCJ has three of these fine instruments and Eva can tell which is which by simply listening. The one in the Sanctuary is only one that was purchased directly at the factory.)
Why do I tell you these facts? God looks at each of us as a fine tuned instruments beginning as rough wood like the Steinway, and then God begins the stretching (transformation). Remember I told you that no 2 Steinway’s are alike – none of us are alike either. Tuning us requires experiences to STRETCH our faith. When we are in the midst of these stretching times or painful experiences, we know that God knows that this stretching and stress is NECESSARY. When we commit our lives and hearts to HIM, He signs us in his blood, just as the maker signs each Steinway masterpiece, and transforms US into the instrument that HE can use to play a beautiful song.”
We are all stretched daily. The stretching is part of the refining process but is nothing like that experienced by our Savior when He was stretched out on the Cross, and signed our name in His blood.
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16 NIV
He is Emmanuel, God with us. I believe.