Our summer English workshop is well on its way… those who have come so far show great enthusiasm and commitment, really desiring to learn English. For that reason, they’re learning quickly and I’ve seen many already benefiting a lot from the lessons.

I’m so proud of our students.

My role has been to more or less provide entertainment for kids who aren’t taking part of the big group lesson. The first week I had my hands full with crying babies, who were probably more distraught than calmed as I attempted to soothe them in a foreign language.

Lately, however, the only child in my care has been a precious girl named Saliha.

Saliha has a charming spirit, and whenever she enters the room she immediately gives a hug to anyone and everyone. She definitely has her favorites, but that doesn’t stop her from making sure everyone receives her love. 

Saliha’s favorite thing to do is to sing.

Or clap.
Or dance.
Or all three!

It doesn’t matter: music and rhythm capture her soul.

Maybe that’s why we connect so well– we both have gifts of love that are given and received through music and touch.

Anyways, the other day we were playing in the back of the room with some blocks when suddenly, she put her finger up to her lips and shushed me, then motioned with her hands for me to pray.

Confused, I looked over my shoulder and saw that my friend was leading a prayer. 

Saliha doesn’t understand English. 

Saliha doesn’t really even speak. The girl I’ve been describing has a physical disability affecting her mental and motor skills.

Her spirit, however, is obviously in-tune.

Saliha’s entire back was turned– I mean, there was no way that Saliha could’ve known to stop and pray…

if not moved in accordance by the Holy Spirit.

Seriously, every single time I am gifted with a day spent loving and being loved by Saliha, aside from my “touch cup” being filled,  I am additionally reminded of God’s utmost care for His children.

How He loves us and delights over us with singing…

He sings over His creation, who were designed to respond with a song back to Him.

So many times in the Bible does God instruct His people to praise Him with a song- regardless of whatever state we’re in and with whatever skill we have.

Saliha does exactly that.
I like to imagine that when Saliha hums, the Holy Spirit inside of her is interceding, making her one of earth’s most exalted worship leaders in the sight of the Lord.

Her life is an example for so many people, and I myself am learning a lot from her. Especially about connecting intimately with God.

He has a specific song for each of us.

Am I listening? Am I in-tune, like Saliha, to know when the spirit is moving even when my back is turned?

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” 
-Zephaniah 3:17


At the Piano

I remember sitting down at a piano competition, getting nervous, freaking out and forgetting the song. My teacher set the music down in front of me. But I stubbornly didn’t want to use the one thing that would make the music sound as it should, and instead tried to master it on my own- sweating bullets and making awfully horrendous mistakes. What a stupid thing to do.

I do it all the time; ignore God’s music for my life. Make a fool out of myself. When I could be trustingly playing His notes stanza by stanza. Following His tempo. Feeling His rhythm. Eyes unswerving to the page set before me, not wanting to lose my focus or flow. The intro is a sweet melody, slow, light, and serene. The next page He sets a string of sixteenth notes interwoven with off-beat quarter notes- a little intimidating. Deep breath of prayer. He leads me through it. No harm has come to me under His direction.

The few slips might cause others to cluck of disapproval- but, God & I? We’re stronger because of it, and then He proudly hands me more notes to conquer. I play- with His coaching to never lose sight of the music- until one day, as I sound the resolving chord, He ushers me off the piano bench and into bright light, beaming and applauding at my performance. Telling me how beautiful the song was. To which I step back, out of the spotlight, and say,

Oh my King, it was all You.

You gave me the music. Taught me to read it. How to play it. How to never let it out of sight or mind. How to trust and dive head-first when it seemed impossible, only to find out the glorious rewards of moving over the keys in rhythm of Your love, being lead forward in Your grace. It never got easier, but my fingertips soon became familiar with the consistent fact that when weight presses down the ivory, a praise rings out. If I stopped playing when it got hard, I missed out on You.

You, my King, are the music.
And Yours is the glory.