by Diane Virginia
While shoppers hurried into the mall to escape the Winter winds, I was acutely aware of one man who, instead, was ambling to the entrance, methodically tapping his cane. He touched the door. Then he paced ten steps away. Dropping to his knees, he placed his hat on the ground for tips and pulled an instrument from his tattered jacket. With flute in hand, the man played “Silent Night,” “The First Noel,” and “Drummer Boy.” I was enthralled by his passion, and the angelic sound resonating from his instrument. Passersby stopped long enough to listen.
As people returned to the scurry of activities that so easily defines the Christmas season, I remained. A mother dropped a coin in the man’s overturned hat. A teenager handed the flutist a water bottle. It was my chance to talk to him.
“Excuse me, sir,” I said, “Do you play secular songs, too?”
“Naw. They don’t interest me.”
“I thought you’d say that. So, why do you play?”
“Does anybody ever take your money? I mean, you wouldn’t know it seeing as…”
“I sees those that takes with me ears. But, if all they wants is the coins, they can have ‘em. I play ‘cause I want ‘em to have a song in they’s heart like I’s got in mine.”
“Thank you, sir. I’d ask you to play me another song, but I don’t have cash…”
“Set yerself down. I’s playin’ fer ya.”
With that instruction, I sat. The flutist played “Mary Did You Know.” I felt a warmth erase the cold wind whipping onto the sidewalk from the nearby alley.
I learned something that day. Although the gentleman was blind and poor, his spirit was free. The song of the Lord that resided within the flutist gave him a joy no one could take.
Let’s talk about Mary. Why did God choose her to birth the Savior? She, as the flutist, trusted God to direct the course of her life. She believed God sent the Angel Gabriel who appeared to her during her prayer time. She permitted the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit as He placed a Son within her virgin womb; “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35bKJV) She believed Gabriel’s report and made haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who also was with child.
Because of Mary’s reliance upon God, the Bible records her as being the most highly favored woman; “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28bKJV)
There is one more characteristic about Mary that made her God’s choice. She, as the flutist, had a song in her heart that no one could take away. Her song, The Magnificat, also known as The Canticle of Mary, is a declaration of her beliefs about God. (see Luke 1:46-56)
What did Mary sing? She sang about being surprised to learn she was God’s humble and favored servant who would give birth to the Savior. She glimpsed the impact of Christ’s birth—that it would bless not only her generation, but ours as well. Expectedly, she sang about God’s sovereignty.
Mary’s simple faith reminds me of the flutist: He was not concerned about the troubles around him. He had no sight—not a problem. His coat was threadbare—not an issue. People stole his offerings—silver was not his motivation. Rather than focusing on these outward things, the flutist concentrated on expressing the song within his spirit. Sharing his talent with others brought him satisfaction. And perhaps, this humble flutist is—like Mary—chosen, favored, and blessed. And, may I suggest to you, that when we focus on King Jesus rather than on our circumstances, God’s favor descends upon us?
Would Mary have a difficult journey? Sure, she would, and she knew that. But, she kept a song in her heart when the challenges came. As gossip mongers talked about Mary’s premarital pregnancy, she kept singing. When she and Joseph fled from wicked King Herod, I imagine Mary whispered lullabies into her child’s ears. When her Son lie upon the cross, beaten, and dying a horrible death, blood pooling at her bended knees, I am certain Mary had at least one chord from her Spirit-song residing in her wounded soul. When He arose, the whole world sang, as did Mary….
Christmas is a time to resurrect the song of the Lord that He’s placed within you. Do you hear it? Listen closely…. The Great Flutist has written a melody on the recesses of your heart that will touch future generations. Allow Emmanuel—God with us—to overtake your soul.
+ + +
“And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son,
and shalt call his name JESUS.” Luke 1:31