Foolishness and passion

Today I smashed the hang out of my fingers. I creamed ’em like a fool when I tried to lower a garage door by sticking my fingers into the handy little crack between the panels. So when the door came down, the crack closed, and I was left with the three middle fingers of each hand stuck in the door while I yelled, danced and pleaded for someone to help. Now my digits are traumatized with bruised and bleeding fingernails on each hand, and I’m typing this entry very gently, favoring certain fingers like a dog with a wounded leg.

The bummer is, tomorrow night I have a special Christmas performance. So I’ve enlisted some prayer warriors, and I’m believing for God to heal me up enough to go through with it. It’s really amazing how often things like this happen to me before a concert. It makes me feel like there’s some kind of spiritual assignment against me playing in public.

I was thinking about this today, wondering why people connect with my music in the first place. It’s definitely not my technique. You can find people all over the county who effortlessly play circles around me, executing flawless passages and dazzling arpeggios. The only thing I can figure out is, maybe it’s my passion. I have a tendency of losing myself in the music and forgetting about the world around me. And people seem to like that. We love passion because we’re created in the image of a passionate God. Yet our lives can be so incredibly mundane. So when an audience hears someone get lost in some foggy Neverland, and then emerge on the other end beating the keyboard black and blue, they respond.

Sometimes I get choked up, or even cry right in the middle of a piece. Other times I’ve played hard enough to leave a trail of blood on the keyboard. (And sometimes I make loud, bombastic mistakes that cause the audience to squirm and twist in their seats). Of course this can be embarrassing, but if I live in fear of tenderness, or even of large, monstrous mistakes, everything will come across sounding tentative and tame. And neither life nor music was meant to be played that way.

2 thoughts on “Foolishness and passion”

  1. Don,
    Just read your entry. I’m so sorry to hear about your fingers. Our son Ben, just did that to one of his fingers last week…got it slammed in the heavy steel theater door. He was in a good bit of pain and will definitely lose the nail—it’s blackish purple.
    I will be praying that you’ll feel up to playing tomorrow night.
    You are right when you say:
    “I have a tendency of losing myself in the music and forgetting about the world around me.” I think that has always been true, even back when I used to be able to hear watch you play in person.(I won’t say how many years ago that was.)
    I’m not sure you have been getting my emails as I haven’t heard directly from you since you got back stateside. So, I thought I’d try posting here. I’m sure you must be busy…and now you’re injured.


  2. Don,
    Oh man! I’m so sorry about your fingers! Ugh! Both hands? Oh man! Ufdah! I didn’t read it till just now (12/18) so I wasn’t one of your prayer warriors but I’ll pray for you now.

    Last Christmas (Dec 23) I stabbed my wrist with a knife. I was trying to pry a wrench off a piece of cardboard and the knife I was using was (Tim’s) very sharp. I wasn’t used that. It slipped right through the plastic zip-tie thingy like butter. Stabbed my wrist right in the middle about 3 finger widths below my palm. Cut 2 tendons and poked the main nerve. I had surgery the 2nd of January. I get a little bit of feeling back everyday, but it’s still not completely healed. Bottom line… I can totally relate! Our church had 5 services on Christmas Eve. last year and I was in charge of 3 of them. I sang and conducted on drugs! I’ll be praying for a complete recovery in your case!

    Your music. Wow! You know I love it. But maybe it’s not the music so much as there comes a line when we perform for Him. A Line where He takes over and His Spirit moves. He uses our blunders as well as our own emotions to communicate HIS passion for His people. His passion for me. Don’t you think? Don’t you FEEL that? I have felt that when you’ve played for me. A transcendence from playing our stuff to playing His. It’s awesome.

    I’m sorry about your fingers. I’m sorry for your pain.

    Ptaying for you,


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