While shoppers hurried into the mall to escape the winter winds, I was acutely aware of one man who ambled to the entrance, methodically tapping his cane.
The gentleman touched the door, then 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 recorder flute in hand, he played Silent Night, The First Noel, and Drummer Boy.
I was enthralled by the angelic sound resonating from his instrument. People stopped long enough to listen but soon returned to the scurry of activities that define the Christmas season. I remained.
A mother dropped a coin in his overturned hat. A teenager handed the flutist a water bottle. It was my chance to talk to him.
“Excuse me, sir, do you play secular songs too?”
“They don’t interest me.”
“Does anybody ever take your money? I mean, you wouldn’t know, seeing as…”
“I sees those that takes with me ears. But if all they wants is my coins, they can have ‘em.”
THE FLUTIST’S MOTIVATION
“Why do you play? For Jesus?”
“Uh huh. An’ I play ‘cause I want ‘em folks to have a song in they’s heart like I’s got in mine. I plays fer Him.”
“Thank you. 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 squatted.
As the flutist played Mary Did You Know, a warmth erased the frigid wind whipping across the sidewalk. I was caught up in the flutist world, his audience being the One who died and rose again for him.
I learned something that day. Although the gentleman was blind and poor, his spirit was free. The song of the Lord residing within this flutist gave him a joy no person or circumstance could take.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore, also, that Holy One which who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”~Luke 1:35b NKJV
Let’s talk about Mary. Why did God choose her to birth the Savior? She, like the flutist, trusted God to direct her life’s course. Mary also believed Gabriel’s report and permitted the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, who placed the Son of God into her virgin womb. Then, she made haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who also was with child, and did not waste a moment obeying the Lord.
Because Mary relied on God, she was a highly favored woman. Her cousin Elisabeth spoke about this, saying, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28b NKJV)!
And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.~Luke 1:31 NKJV
There is one more characteristic about Mary that made her God’s choice. She, as the flutist, had a song in her heart 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). Mary’s song defined her as a woman of faith.
What did Mary sing? She sang about being surprised to learn she was God’s chosen one who would birth the Savior. She glimpsed the impact of her child’s birth—that Jesus Christ would bless not only her generation but also ours. Expectedly, she sang about God’s sovereignty.
Mary’s simple faith reminds me of the flutist’s. He had no sight but used the taps of his cane to see. His coat was threadbare, but he did not focus on the bitter winds. People stole his offerings, but Christ, rather than silver, was his motivation. Rather than focusing on these outward circumstances, the flutist focused on expressing the song in his spirit. Sharing these talents with others brought him great satisfaction, and I’m sure God was pleased.
I am certain this humble flutist, like Mary, is also chosen, favored, and blessed. When we focus on King Jesus rather than on our circumstances, God’s favor descends upon us also.
Would Mary have a difficult journey? Sure, she would, and she knew this, but she kept a song in her heart when the challenges came. As gossipers talked about her premarital pregnancy, she kept singing. As she and Joseph fled from wicked King Herod, she probably whispered lullabies into her Child’s ears. When her Son hung upon the cross–beaten, dying a horrible death, blood pooling at her bended knees–Mary retained at least one chord from her spirit song that resided in her wounded soul. When Christ arose, the world sang, as did Mary. And so do we.
RESURRECT THE SONG
Christmas is a time to resurrect the song of the Lord that He has placed within us. So, 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.
Share your favorite portions of the Christmas story.
Heavenly Father, teach me to sing the melody You’ve inscribed on the recesses of my heart. In Jesus Christ’s name, amen.
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Copyright © 2017: Mary’s Song: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
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