FROM A DUCK TO A SWAN Andy Hollifield 11-19-19
Pro 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear? (KJV)
“I hate piano momma, I don’t want to play anymore!” Sarah said as she ran into her room crying and slammed the door. She had just been taking lessons for three months. You can’t be ready to give a concert in that short of a time.
Sarah had worn leg braces until she was three and glasses all of her ten years. Glasses could help her see and braces had helped her learn to walk but what can you do for a broken spirit? While the other fourth grade girls were playing basketball in the winter soccer all summer, Sarah had been forced to take piano lessons by her mom. The doctors had warned her mom that any rough contact to Sarah’s legs would put her back in braces and maybe even permanently.
None of that mattered to the girls in the lunchroom that made a pastime of making fun of Sarah until she started crying. Marjorie was the worst and all of the others followed her lead. Her beauty with her long blond hair and bubbly personality, endeared her to all of the other girls in the school. Sarah had tried to be friends with all of them but her glasses and her slight limp were magnets for ridicule and this day was no different. Hop-a-long and four eyes were their favorite names for Sarah. She longed so bad to be able to play ball with them and just fit in but it wasn’t worth the risk to her legs.
Her childhood was full of memories Sarah chose not to recall. She remembered all the laughing at her expense. Even though her family had moved fourteen years earlier, at twenty-four years old those memories still hurt. Now, as she walked on the stage at the Metropolis Music Center in front of 3000 people, that time of life seemed so far away. Mom was right. The piano lessons had paid off and now she was the official pianist for the city orchestra that played all of the big venues throughout the country.
After the show on a cool rainy night, Sarah was stopped by a lady that looked like she had lived a pretty rough life. The three kids with her were polite but their clothes weren’t fashionable by any standard. This lady asked, “Aren’t you Sarah from just outside of Abilene, Kansas?” “Yes,” Sarah replied; “But do I know you?” “You probably wish you didn’t,” the lady answered, “I am Marjorie. When I heard you were going to be here I just had to come. I owe you an apology for the way I treated you in fourth grade. As my oldest girl entered fourth grade this year, with her coke bottle glasses, it made me think of you and how terrible I had been to you. I hope you can someday forgive me.” “You didn’t have to come here to tell me that but thank you and you can consider it forgiven” responded Sarah, flabbergasted by this unforeseen apology. “Oh, by the way, Sarah, when I asked my daughter if she wanted to be a homecoming queen like me, she said not really. She said when she grows up, she hopes she can play the piano just like you. Fate has a not-so-funny way of teaching us hard lessons, doesn’t it? Who would have ever dreamed you would not only be so talented but so beautiful as well. I am glad she has you for a role model to encourage her to reach for the stars. The little duckling from Abilene truly has become a graceful and beautiful swan.”