When Malakai’s afraid, he chews on his bottom lip like his grandmother.
And there’s no getting around it: He looks like a caged coon up there in the pew before the piano — biting at his lip, hands fidgeting.
He looks like he’s already flung ahead in his mind to the part of this piano adjudication nightmare where his fingers tangle on the piano keys and a screeching F flat grates across our eardrums like fork tines on Corelle china.
He’s eight. So how can I really tell him — that catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead.
That he really could take one long, deep breath and just relax. Abide. Because it’s never about your capabilities. When you’re in covenant with Christ, it’s His responsibility to cover your cracks, to be all your competency and completeness. Inabilities, in Christ, are made all-sufficient, just-right abilities. Abandon worries — and wholly abide.
Malakai writhes in his seat, looks about wildly for me. All I can do is try to hush his wide-eyed nerves with a feeble smile. But is it really possible to make a nod from the fourth row of a music festival enfold one scared boy into arms that hold tight? I pray.
The adjudicator steps forward with his sharp yellow pencil in hand. Malakai eyes bore into me.
“Now, boys and girls, when I call your name, you may come up to the piano, introduce your piece to us — and then play your very best.” He punctuates the air with that graphite point.
“And don’t forget to bow when we all clap. Then you’ll return to your seat. And so it will be the next pianist’s turn. But please–” The adjudicator looks over the top of his glasses, pencil suspended in one long, midair pause —
“Please — …
And too — a post below with an invitation to spend an hour together, together going before God — to dare to fully say YES to God — right where you are. You don’t have to go anywhere — it’s a free, online webcast. Just a way to gather together and figuratively wash each other’s feet, truly encourage one another’s hearts — and sincerely say Yes to God. It’d be such a blessing to meet you there… See the post below — to see you there?