In September of 2012, I purchased a used piano keyboard, practically giddy that my producer and co-writer in Nashville (Robert Jason) had found me just the right one. It was a professional keyboard, the brand and model we wanted, and at one-fourth of the new price! It even came with a like-new rolling case, which sells for $150 and up by itself. Robert meticulously packed it with care and lots of bubble wrap and shipped it via a well-known carrier (whom I will not name here).
When I opened the large box and unzipped the case, I was horrified to discover that the keyboard had a large DENT in the front, which explained the seven keys in a row that were in a stuck down position and therefore un-playable. I called Robert, who was livid at the obvious negligence of the shipping company, but thankful that he’d ordered $500 insurance on the large package, “just in case”. (I had paid him $625 to buy it, box it, & ship to me, but at least most of my money would be recovered.) To our shock and further dismay, the shipping company claimed that a “computer glitch had apparently erased the insurance” that Robert had ordered on their computer screen at the shipping store location. The company only returned $157 to Robert (which he sent to me, along with $200 of his own money, feeling awful that I was out $625 and still had no usable keyboard)… so I got half my money returned, but still had a broken, unusable instrument.
The damaged keyboard remained in the beaten-up box, leaning against the wall of my home recording studio for 16 months. We were in the process of remodeling and building onto our house for much of that time, so I rationalized that I didn’t have time to mess with it, feeling helpless and disgusted about the whole matter.
A few weeks ago in late January, my husband said, “Why don’t you get that keyboard out, and let’s see if we can do anything…. what have we got to lose??” A keyboard repairman suggested we at least try to turn it on, and see if the motherboard was even operational (evidenced by the digital screen lighting up & coming on). Well, it DID come on! And EVERY key (except the ones smashed down by the dent) PLAYED!!! I hooped and hollered and thanked my Jesus, for sure!! Then, Hank offered to take it apart and “hammer out the dent”, just to see…
Every key popped up (with only the slightest visible evidence of the damaging dent remaining), and my living room was filled with heavenly sounds from all 88 keys for the next two hours!!
To think I’d given up on that keyboard!? Even the rolling case (which was partially shredded on the back, likely from getting caught on a conveyor belt) was still usable, just not so pretty.
I sensed in that moment that God was speaking to me, gently teaching me a valuable lesson. It was as if Jesus was saying,
“Becky, Heaven is a perfect place, but I still have holes in my
hands and feet.”
He was reminding me that everyone has scars, baggage, hurts, “reasons” why we think we can’t be of use to God, or do anything good to impact and change the world. We give up on ourselves, we judge and give up on others— for reasons we justify from our own human standards. But GOD uses everything that happens… good or otherwise… to mold us into the unique person we are, with unique gifts and perspectives (including the pain of our past) to help others! 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 says:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Almost 10 years ago, my family still reeling from the shock of my sister’s drowning and leaving behind five young children, my husband spoke (by faith) again to me. Hank said, “Honey, I think you’re supposed to start singing again, and not just send your songs to other people to sing. It’s your story,your testimony.” It was God’s plan, as well as a few years later (while on an extensive 4,000 mile concert tour) meeting our soon-to-be new children. We adopted Jeffery and Jaycie five years ago last month, and have since started an orphan & adoption ministry in our town, becoming a voice for orphans & foster kids through my websites and other online social outlets. I’ve even recorded another album– all about adoption and orphans. NONE of these things would have transpired if we hadn’t suffered tragedy and pain in our family.
What seems senseless and even insurmountable in our lives, God can use for His redemptive purposes, if we’ll trust Him and surrender our lives. So here we are, “dented” and damaged, but “back in commission”, ON commission, to walk in God’s plan for our lives.
I think I’ll go write a song…. on my dented keyboard:))