I started piano lessons in the first grade. According to my mom, I banged rhythms on pots, pans and everything in sight so she signed me up for piano. My first teacher was our church’s organist. After I learned the basics, church hymns quickly became my practice material.
Trust me, I was no child prodigy. But to my Grandma Tegeler, I was…at least she made me feel that way!
Growing up in my little hometown with only one stop light, I’d ride my bike across town to Grandma’s house. In her sitting room sat a small Spinet organ, out of tune but with just enough octaves to practice. No matter what she was doing, we always ended up in that sitting room. I sat at that organ; she sat next to me in her rocking chair. Grandma would pick up her hymnal, call out one of her favorite hymns, and I’d do my best to play the hymn. I missed plenty of notes, but it didn’t matter to Grandma. If I struggled with a hymn, she simply encouraged me and read her Bible as I worked on the rough spots. When I learned a hymn so that the notes at least resembled the tune, we sang it together, over and over. Those hymns represented a repertoire of Grandma’s life in the church. Before we finished one hymn, Grandma had the next one picked. As the time came for me to bike back home, she always requested one last hymn–her favorite, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” The first hymn I learned. Despite fumbling through most of the other hymns, I knew every note and every word of that hymn.
As a young girl, my Grandma Tegeler influenced my faith more than anyone else. Those singing sessions on her Spinet were more than piano practices, they were faith lessons. Just as I learned the notes of piano, she taught me the notes of faith found in the Bible. During those sessions, I soaked up her steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. Grandma not only taught me every single word of “What a Friend I Have in Jesus,” she lived her life modeling every single verse.
Have we trials and temptations? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
As I’ve traveled the road of my adult life, my Grandma has been gone for a number of years, but those precious hymn sessions stuck with me. As I struggle through a situation, I remember those faith notes.
I do have a friend in Jesus Christ. You do too. Take it to the Lord in prayer.
P.S. In homage to my Grandma, I’ve posted her coffee cake recipe on my page titled “Recipes…made with love!” Between her jelly roll and coffee cake, she was always ready for visitors:)