"Do you wanna hear me play?" She shouted out the open living room window at her friend across the street. Both girls knew it was bedtime. Maybe just a song or two?
She sat at the piano, recital music scattered and worn. Her friend, an eager audience, sat in her own front room, window open, ready for the concert.
The familiar strains filled the house (loudly, to accommodate the distant listener). She's been practicing for months -- one of her favorite things to do. (I'm not kidding.) At times she breaks into "Let it Go," just for fun. (I'm guessing I'm not alone in this experience?) And many times she plays the one that really gets me: "I Surrender All."
As she played the hymn for her friend, I thought of the words. All to Thee, my blessed Savior . . . . I watched my Little Miss play with feeling and the sweet, self-conscious proficiency that rises to the surface when there's an audience.
I thought of her friend, sitting at her open window, soaking in the melody, likely not familiar with the words. Perhaps not even familiar with the Savior.
And I thought of that house. The tumultuous years with sketchy neighbors. The house everyone avoided but kept a close eye on until the cops finally cleared them out. It sat vacant for months and months. We watched. We prayed. We wanted new neighbors. We wanted the right neighbors.
Not perfect neighbors, but "right" in that we asked God to handpick the people who would eventually settle into our community. Maybe it would even be a family.
It was. The house was completely remodeled and filled with a family of five. The kids held their breaths. Maybe they're close to our ages? They are. And, thankfully, they appreciate piano recitals.
Little Miss finished her songs and the windows closed with farewells for the night.
This morning, as I sat in the front room with the sun's rays and a cool breeze spilling through the open window, I heard a little voice. "Hello? Hello?" I looked up from my tea and Bible and peered out the window. I didn't see anyone. The voice came again. "Hello? Hello!!!" And then a little flash of color as the four-year-old sister popped into view at her open front window. She popped away again before I could wave, but she was there again tonight. I waved and smiled. She shyly waved back -- her tiny head barely visible above the sill -- and the curtains fell.
I pray that the windows stay open. I pray that the friendships continue to blossom. And I pray, as our yard fills almost daily with at least half a dozen neighborhood children, that our family will live a chorus of beautiful surrender.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior. I surrender all.