Tuning our hearts

Pastoral Messages | January 13, 2022

A few weeks ago, we had our small Steinway upright piano tuned. It currently sits in our living room and has recently gained the fascination of our 9-month-old. Sometimes one of us will sit and play chords or simple songs while Micah listens contentedly. More often, he insists on crawling up on the bench with us and adding his own melody—fistfuls of keys clanked together in no particular rhythm. It doesn’t appear he has the skills of Mozart just yet.

As the piano has received more attention in recent months and these improv sessions have become part of our daily routine, it was more and more apparent that the piano was in serious need of some TLC. Certain notes nearly hurt the ear they were so far off-key. Some keys would get stuck, and you’d have to wait a second or two before you could strike it again. Even the prettiest chords sounded a bit off. 

So the piano technician recently arrived at our house and got to work. As he opened up the top of the piano, he spotted a note inside—”Last tuned: October 1989.” Over 30 years! Yikes.

Needless to say, he had his work cut out for him. But he was gracious and careful in his work. Meticulously striking each key, one at a time, making adjustments (lots of adjustments) as needed. Then repeating the process over and over and over… and over again. 

And when he was finished? It was like a whole new instrument. The chords were beautiful. Keys that hadn’t worked for years were functional again. Even Micah’s etudes had a nicer sound to them. I’m not sure we knew just how badly this piano needed attention until we heard what it sounded like after it was cared for. 

It seems to me that tuning a piano isn’t all that different than the tune-ups our lives need, as well. There are times where we are so off track with our priorities, so out of sync with others around us, or so exhausted that we’re like those stuck keys—unable to function as we were designed to. 

What we need is a realignment. An intentional shift in our priorities or adjustment of our understanding that allows us to flourish. Sometimes we don’t even realize how far off course we’ve gone until we’re able to stop, reset, and start anew. 

Maybe we could start by singing the words of the well-known hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” where the opening line says: “Tune my heart to sing thy grace.” Asking God to sit down beside us, tweaking and tuning our lives to more beautifully reflect God’s love & goodness. May we consistently remind ourselves to reset and refresh, preferably more often than every 30 years!

-Katy Warren, associate pastor

7 Comments on “Tuning our hearts”

  • Al Hutson

    January 23, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks pastor Katy. Your words are always encouraging.

  • Anke Maass

    January 20, 2022 at 10:48 am

    great story of tuning up our lives and attitudes in my case. Let the tuning of 2022 begin!!
    I know when we gave up our piano….I am sure the next home had the same kind of work done to it. Sure loved to play…as minimal as I knew

  • Vida Luth

    January 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    I needed this reminder of the goodness all around us that God provides. I was finding myself going down a rabbit hole and wondering when I was going to get a kick start! I believe you did it for me. Thank you!!

  • Deanna Hessling

    January 13, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    What a gracious reminder to re-tune ourselves to what is important.

  • Fred Quam

    January 13, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Very good article.

  • Phyllis Hofer

    January 13, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    Beautiful reminder!! Let the “tweaking” begin!

  • Sheila Mesick

    January 13, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for this lovely story that includes the story of your son playing those piano keys, I love the visual image of little hands tickling those ivories! You put words together that become a gentle reminder of how gracefully our Lord fine tunes the soul. We are not lost- stop, reset, start anew! God bless!

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