Time goes on, and seasons bring change.
My last recital with my precious students has come and gone.
I profoundly love and admire each one.
The boy, barely old enough to read, who unflinchingly pierces his finger during his piano lesson to test his blood sugar level but then cries at the prospect of playing in front of people.
The red-headed girl, not old enough to tell her left from her right, who honestly admits when she's crabby and finds something about me to compliment every time I see her.
The boy who plays in the hallways when it's not his lesson for the sheer delight of music.
The girl who refused to bow in her lesson for fifteen minutes, but finally realized that I am more stubborn than her. She obeys now, but that's not the point. I used to dread her, and now I love her, for I see her preciousness in the eyes of God.
The girl whom no one had taught how to deal with anger and grief and fear.
The girl who always exclaims, "lessons are over already?"
The girl who wouldn't talk.
The little boy who is taller than me now.
The boy who cried in lessons for fear of dying.
My students--my kids. I have taught you as if you were going to be a concert pianist or violinist. But I have only taught you that way because I wanted to teach you diligence, respect, attentivenes, perseverance, faithfulness, obedience, and responsibility. My ambition for each of you is not for you to become a renowned musician, but for you to submit your life to Jesus Christ and live for Him.
You've taught me how to live in the moment. You've taught me bravery. You've reminded me what it's like to be a kid, and why I must be like you in order to enter the Kingdom of God (see Mark 10:14-16). I will never, ever forget these lessons, or any of you for as long as I live. You're each taking a piece of my heart with you.