Uncommon sanctuaries

Some children grow up spending most of their leisure time with siblings or cousins or next door neighbor kids.  
I did not.  No siblings even close to my age made me a bit of an only child.  Ditto cousins.  I had a couple very good friends, but play time wasn’t all that frequent. 
My dad was my fishing buddy and my favorite person to spend leisure time with.  But of course time with him was limited because he had that pesky 40+ hour/week job thing going on.  
My mom also had that pesky full time employment scene happening from the time I was eight years old.  

Which left me with a lot of time at home while they were working.  This was back in the day when television was black and white and limited to whatever station would come in via roof antenna.  Never more than three stations, usually just one, and always a snowy reception.  
During times when I was particularly bored or frustrated, I’d call my mom at work.  I can still tell you what that phone number was.  EX2-2919.  I called it a lot.   “Mom, what can I do?”  Mom was always busy at work and she would advise me to bake some cookies or play the piano.  
Clearly, clearly, I baked a lot of cookies.  And ate them. 
But more often I sat at the piano.  The piano became my friend, my refuge, my port in the storm, my place to go when life threw chaos at me.  My 20-something sister, Sharon, with her little girl mind and special needs was always there with me.  At times she had rather intense moments of challenges and struggles, and her struggles became mine.  
And…..I found out that sitting at that old upright piano with my hands on the keys made the world I lived in a little more tolerable.  As I sat there my eyes saw the wooden upright portion of the piano, with the reflection of my chubby little cookie-fed face faintly visible in the polished wood.  I could look at the family pictures decorating the top of the piano.  My ears heard my hands play melodies and it didn’t matter that those melodies weren’t perfect.  I could play tunes over and over, as long as it took to make them sound right to my little girl ears.    My piano took me away.  Far away to a land where God created music.  And He shared that music with me.  He taught me.  
Sitting at that piano I believe God connected with me in a way that helped me cope with the chaos around me.  And eventually the music became pleasant enough to help my sister Sharon find some calmness  also.  He gave me a gift that would help both of us through the chaos. 
Which leads me to be grateful for not only the gift of music,  but also the chaos.  Without the chaos, would I have the gift?  
I’m not a little girl anymore.  But the piano is still my sanctuary.  The place where God can meet me and surround me with His presence.  His calming, soothing, loving presence.  
Do you have a sanctuary?   Sitting at a sewing machine creating handmade treasures?  Using a paintbrush to create a picture? (Painting is Sharon’s sanctuary!!)  Casting a fishing line into a body of water?   Hiking through the woods?  Working with lumber to build beautiful treasures?  Shooting basketballs through the net?  Singing in your car while you’re just out for a drive?   The possibilities are endless. Wherever God meets you can be a sanctuary.  If you’ll reach out for Him, He’s there waiting.  
Even in unlikely places.  Even when you’re up to your ears in chaos.  
You need a sanctuary. Life is so much better with a hiding place. 
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17
It would be a few years before this little girl needed a sanctuary
Me and my piano…..best friends forever


5 thoughts on “Uncommon sanctuaries

  1. I too had a sanctuary involving music, it helped me overcome the problems and limitations I had getting over polio. I really like this piece, and it is so true about the Lord. He provides! BTW, I think I was near you when that picture was taken.


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