He hums a tune inside a room at one end of the hallway. He runs His fingers back and forth over the lines of music upon His stand. Gently, He begins to sway as His eyes close and a rushing peace spills out of Him. No ear can hear what He hears, but the motion of His heart sets off an invisible pendulum in the building.
Down the corridor, footsteps gather in the auditorium. An excitement mounts as the students prepare their instruments and begin to find their places on the stage. Small groups speak in hushed tones while others prefer to practice alone in quiet corners. As the clock winds down, eyes begin to search for the Conductor. With seats facing the audience rows, they stare straight ahead hoping to see the main doors open at any time.
But, He lingers behind the curtain sharing the same view as the ones He instructs. He takes His time observing, because only He knows when the performance truly starts. He observes their varied postures, takes note of their uneven breathing, and then He sends His Spirit to rest upon every assembled soul. All at once His heart precisely tunes every instrument and the atmosphere suddenly shifts when they realize He is somewhere in the room.
She looks over her shoulder and sees Him in all His glory and power. Though He tries to hide, His majesty radiates like a beautiful net cast directly from His perfect heart. His energy ripples like endless waves over them all and a force field of passion invades the platform. The recognition of His presence creates an awareness that causes fingertips to burn with healing, spirits elevate for miracles, faithful hands raise in abandoned worship, feet are ready to be sent out, lips open to speak revelation, and tongues joyfully dance with the Holy Spirit inside of praise-filled mouths.
As He walks softly and affectionately among them, He smiles to know that they think they’re here for tonight’s big show. But this is just a rehearsal. This moment is merely a second outside of eternity. For the talents and gifts He has tenderly worked out in each of them are only the beginning of a performance He yearns to watch for time immeasurable.
I wrote this two years ago after a vision I had during prayer and it returned back to me in June when we took our sons to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform one night. I spent the evening completely captivated by the Conductor and those that surrounded his platform and played seemingly for him alone. Even though my son sitting next to me was fast asleep, I could not keep my body still during the concert and found myself swaying with the moving bows on the stage. My eyes darted and danced around the room with little capacity to fully behold all God was revealing second by second. And then I saw it. One man and one woman came alive and as I stared at them with utmost fascination, I saw that they became the instrument the Conductor was playing and I could hear the song he was playing resonating from deep within them.
Most musicians were sweating and held a serious countenance. They were driven, focused, and masterful. But, the two who played, not for themselves, but for the Conductor, lit up the entire room full of watchful and expectant hearts. Every time the Conductor would make eye contact with the man and woman, electric currents sparked in the space between his wand and their instruments. There was an undeniable, yet unseen collision happening in the natural and supernatural. They laughed and made expressions between themselves only they would understand, though I did my best to interpret their unspoken love language. They were giving us all a glimpse of what it looks like to be a surrendered vessel inside of loving hands.
I was deeply drawn to this symbolic picture of us and God and I’ve thought about it countless times since the show ended. Sometimes our lives sound like chaos of clashing tuning instruments as people gather and attempt to produce a pleasing melody on their own. Sometimes we appear in the right place at the right time, but our attention is given to something other than God who stands before us waiting to be seen high and lifted up. Other times we are eager and well prepared, just waiting for the chance to be noticed by the audience of the world for the gifts God has given us. I’ve been seated in every one of those seats.
But the chair He has for us is the one where we come close to His heart and we let Him play us as we come alive before the world in a way that is so often misunderstood and undervalued by those who don’t know the Conductor. Though we are surrounded by a platform of talented and hungry souls, He will only release His music through the ones who fix their eyes on Him, yield their bodies as a temple for His worship, and follow the rhythm of the Holy Spirit higher and higher.
Our lives are His rehearsal. Our hearts become the instrument in His hands. And our song is the breath of God caught by the captivated ones who exhale it back toward Him knowing He hears the harmony of eternity ringing out for all the world to hear and respond.