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The Instrument

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Seeing the instrument as an eyesore in their home they decided to paint it to make it appear better to them and to their friends.

L. W. Rabbit
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The Instrument

The Master Musician Himself handcrafted the instrument. Each piece was designed exactly as He intended it to be. The pieces fit together to complete the magnificent creation. All it needed was the touch of His hand and the most beautiful music would resonate from it; touching the hearts and souls of all who were near. This beautiful instrument was created for His use, His purpose, and His pleasure. He placed it in the home of His choosing to be used in time as He saw fit.

However, those who were left in charge of its care neglected and abused it. Soon the beautiful instrument did not appear so beautiful. It became more and more difficult to view it as a magnificent creation of the Master Musician. Its finish became dull and lifeless as no one bothered to keep it clean or polished. The caretakers were too concerned with their own lives to worry about this thing that was taking up space in their home. They did not appreciate it for what it was. Instead they viewed it as an intrusion in their lives, something that demanded time and attention. Luxuries they only afforded to themselves.

Seeing the instrument as an eyesore in their home they decided to paint it to make it appear better to them and to their friends. Layers of paint were applied covering the once beautiful finish that reflected the Master Musician as He played. Still they were not happy with it. The years of neglect and abuse had left nicks, dents, and scratches. It was covered with paint and was no longer in tune to the Master’s touch. When those housing it could stand it no more, they offered to give it away to anyone that would take it.
As hard as it had been to dwell where it was abused and neglected, the move was even harder. It acquired many new scars and blemishes; a part of it was even broken. Life had not been kind to the instrument and it was quite certain that it would never again feel the touch of the Master’s hand. After all it was no longer what He had created. It was now battered, bruised, and scarred. It was no longer a beautiful creation of the Master. It was not a treasured masterpiece, but rather something to be discarded. No one would want an old beat up thing that did not even sound right. What had begun as a beautiful thing had ended in disgrace! It was over, or was it?

A change was taking place. It was a new beginning, a rebirth. The Master had sent the Refinisher to restore the instrument to Him. It would not be easy, but it would be for the good of the instrument and those who would encounter it. Discarded by the ones it had been with for so long, it felt out of place. However, it came to understand that it now resided where it would be loved and cared for. Yet it had nothing to offer in return. It knew that its tune was not right. It knew that it was scarred and ugly. Who would want anything to do with it?

Then one day the Refinisher began to take it apart. Again, it believed it was over. It would be dismantled and done away with for good. But, there was a greater plan; a plan of restoration, a plan to remove much of what the world had added, a plan to resurrect that which the Master had intended. The process was painful. The smell was horrible. It burned and seared through layer after layer. At times it was more than it could stand. If it could have, it would have cried out, “Quit, just quit! I can’t take it any more!” But, somehow it knew that it was for its good and it did feel somewhat better to have the layers of ugly paint scraped away.

Some of the finish was easily removed and discarded. But there were places here and there where the ugly finish hung on so tight it was as if it had reached down into the grains of its very being and become a part of the instrument itself. But the Refinisher would not give up. Again and again He would apply the necessary material to eat away at the ugliness that remained. Piece by piece He worked; relentless in His pursuit to rid the instrument of all that defiled it.
Sometimes it would appear as if all of the old finish had finally been removed. But then more cleaning would be done and more of the ugly unseen sludge would come to the surface needing to be scraped away. At last the piece would be wiped clean. It was not back to its original condition; yet a dull image of what it had once been, what it was created to be could be seen. Still the work of the Refinisher was not complete. There were rough spots that would have to be gently sanded down. Some patching and replacing of parts would need to be done. There were still other pieces that needed to be stripped and refinished. When the pieces were finally clean, the finish would be added.
After having everything stripped away, the wood was parched and dry. It longed for something to sooth and replenish it. The Refinisher was well aware of the need, the thirst. Generously He poured out His oil upon it, tenderly massaging it into the wood allowing it to soak deep within the grains. Gently He would sand it again and add more of the replenishing oil. His oil gave the old dried out wood a rich deep luster that revealed the beauty originally created within.

Some scars were still visible in its once flawless construction, but they seemed to add character somehow. Since the instrument had been brought back in tune with the Master, His touch once more resonated His beautiful music; touching the hearts and souls of all who were near drawing them to Him. The young and wounded were especially drawn to it wanting to hear, wanting to know how they too could make beautiful music. Those that knew the piece before looked at it wondering what had happened. What was it that had changed the ugly out of tune instrument into a beautiful masterpiece that was once again useful to the Master?

The Master knew when He created the instrument that its life would not be easy. He knew that it would be battered and scarred. Yet He loved it so much, He had a plan for it, and He sent His Refinisher and the Refiner to restore it to Him. None of the things that had happened to the instrument had altered the Master’s plan; they had only enhanced it and would be used for good. The instrument came to understand that putting itself in the hands of the Refinisher was the only way to be restored to the Master. It had to be taken apart in order to be resurrected. It also knew that it would need to pay continual careful attention to the Refiner, the one that would be left with it, to make sure that it stayed in tune to the Master’s touch. He had created the instrument for His use, His purpose, and His pleasure. He would finish that which He had begun.

Though the instrument may not be perfect, if you look closely, a faint reflection of the Master can be seen in the slightly scarred and duller finish. If you continue to look, you will notice the image becoming clearer day-by-day as the Refinisher and the Refiner continue to clean and polish it. One day the instrument will be with the Master for all time. But for now, the Master’s purpose for it is here and it is content to be used by Him as He sees fit. After all, what right does the instrument have to complain about how it was made, the life that it was given, or the plans that The Master has for it?

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