05 September 2011
Born to Make Music
My friend who I'm calling Miles - more of his story is below - has found a way to play his guitar in spite of the brain injury that has frozen his right hand. Another friend realized that Miles could hold a small disc about the diameter of the doorknob, about an inch think. He attached a vertical piece of metal on it and Miles uses it as a slide on the strings of his guitar as he learns to finger with his left hand. Miles was born to make music and is making it happen.
I've been spending time with a new friend. [The photo is one I found on the 'net; it's not my friend, but he'd like it.] I'll call him Miles - I think he'd like that because he is in his own way as consummate a musician as is the eternal Miles Davis. Miles, the earthbound, was also born to make music. It is in his soul, it is his vocation. Whatever other jobs he has held, alongside his vocations as husband and father, he is a musician. His preferred medium is the guitar. I didn't know him in his guitar playing days. But I have heard of his renown.
I met Miles after he suffered a brain injury. He spends most of his days in a wheelchair, but he is not bound to it. He stands hourly to do his exercises and can take a few dozen steps at a time. His right hand, however, is curled and immobile. His guitar playing days are over.
But Miles was born to make music. It is in his soul, it is his vocation. He has had to find another medium. He has chosen the harmonica because he can play it with his mouth and left hand. On my last visit he was adjusting an old camera tripod to be a stand for his harmonica. He strapped a pillow on it, leans over and rests the harmonica and his hand on the pillow.
Last night I went over while some of his friends from his old band one some other musicians came over to play. And I heard the music in his soul.
Miles' injury did not exempt him from his vocation. He has all this music welling up in him and he had to find a way to get it out. And he did. He reminds me how hard vocations can be, even when they are joy-filled. Just because God has called you and equipped you to do something, doesn't mean it will be easy. But it will be the most fulfilling thing you have ever done. And if it seems like God has called you to an impossible vocation, don't give up because God has enabled you to do what God has called you to do, no matter how difficult the task.