Advent – Season of Graced Partnership

A wonderful story is often told about an incident in the life of Poland’s famous concert pianist, Ignace Paderewski.*

A mother took her small child to a concert by Paderewski to expose him to the talent of the great pianist.  She hoped as she did to encourage her son in his piano lessons, which he had just begun.   

They arrived early at the concert and were seated near the front.  Standing alone on the stage was a marvelous Steinway grand piano.  As they waited for the concert to begin, the mother entered into a conversation with the people beside her.  

Eventually, eight o’clock came, and the lights began to dim. Everyone turned their attention to the stage and the grand piano.  The mother looked up and was suddenly horrified.  Her son was sitting at the piano and banging out with one little finger, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  “Oh no,” she thought, “How am I going to get him down?”  

As she began to make her way to the platform, Ignace Paderewski himself appeared on stage. He went over and sat down beside the child.  He whispered in the child’s ear, “Don’t quit; keep playing!”  As the little boy continued to play, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began to fill in the bass part.  

Then with his right arm around the little boy, he added a running obbligato.  Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized

Advent celebrates the coming of God.  God who longs to be in partnership with us.  To join us in the harmony of our lives.  Advent reminds us that we are not alone.  That God longs is with us in partnership, surrounding us in our pilgrim journey, surrounding us with love.   Have a partnership filled advent!

*That there was a famed concert pianist named Paderewski is certainly true.  He would later become the Prime Minister of Poland.  This particular incident, however, may or may not have actually occurred in his life. During the Second World War Paderewski arranged local community meetings through flyers that included a picture of him sitting next to a boy at the piano, the image may have evolved into a story.  The story has meaning even if the event is not true, and who knows it may be true!.

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