Recently, I was walking through the Charlotte airport during a layover, on my way to play violin at my grandmother’s memorial service. I came upon a young man playing a grand piano in the middle of the food court.
“Go play music with him,” the Holy Spirit nudged. Really? Me? Now? You want me to be that guy?
Note: It’s hard to argue with God when you are caught red-handed — I had my violin case in my hand!
“Go play a few songs,” I was nudged again. I’ve been trying to pay attention to God’s promptings, since his story is always best. So…
I asked if I could play violin along with him on piano. He loved the idea, and started off with a Journey song. I tried to keep up, playing the melody. This guy was amazingly talented!
“Do you know the song How Great Thou Art?” the young man asked. My smile gave away the answer. We then played hymn after hymn, violin accompanied by piano, as he kept the chords going in between. It was lovely, and I closed my eyes to ignore everyone and focus on an audience of one.
Hundreds of people were walking by, rushed, stressed, and tired from travelling. Others were eating dinner just next to the piano. Some sat in rocking chairs across the walkway, listening. One lady put two dollars in the tip jar and said, “This is better than what we normally hear!”
After a 45-minute extended medley, we ended on a well-known hymn. He stuck out his hand and said, “My name’s Harper. Who are you?”
And this is exactly how it happened.
But wait. What was the point of this random concert, anyway? Was it for me — a practice session before playing The Old Rugged Cross in honor of my grandmother? Was it for the pianist, Harper — a chance to improvise with another musician and a welcome change of pace? No, none of those.
And then it occurred to me — those nearby needed this more than Harper or I did. It made me wonder what puzzles the Holy Spirit was unraveling in various lives while they walked past. Why did some travelers have tears in their eyes?
Or forget the hundreds… For all we know, perhaps a single person needed to hear Amazing Grace that day while walking through a crowded airport.
We may never know why, and it doesn’t matter. What’s important is to go.