Song of Joy
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him .... —Lamentations 3:25 (niv)
"It’s time for my annual accordion concert," I announced a few days before Christmas. My accordion saga started when I was eleven and I longed to know that my daddy loved me. He was a man of few words and had a quick temper. His name was Carroll, and I was named after him.
He was proud of my older sister, who was getting rave reviews in community theater productions. My father feared I might suffer in her shadow, so he suggested I play the accordion. “You’ll be invited to all the parties because everyone will want you to bring your accordion and play.”
He got me a sparkly gold accordion, and I learned to play a couple of polkas and some Christmas carols. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that a fat girl with glasses wasn’t going to be invited to parties because she played the accordion. So I quit . . . and resented my father for suggesting the idea.
After I was grown and my father had died, I found my accordion at my mother’s house. Instantly, I was an eleven-year-old girl again, playing the accordion, hoping to make her father proud. The memory was the same, but I was different.
I’d become a mom and had learned that, in spite of our best efforts, parents don’t always give the kind of love that perfectly meets a child’s unique needs. I’d also learned that only God’s love perfectly fills those longings and helps me love others, even if they don’t love me exactly the way I want. So every Christmas, I take out my accordion and play carols in memory of my father because our name means “song of joy.”
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