Before my eyes opened this morning, short phrases of this old song were running through my mind. I know why… I had been practicing it for weeks to accompany an octet this past Sunday. They did a fabulous job, but because I was playing piano and not singing, the words come in phrases I remember hearing as I played.
Calvary’s love can heal the spirit. Calvary’s love will sail forever. Calvary’s love, priceless gift. Fills with joy once empty eyes. …the story of love that loved enough to die. Sins atoned and Heaven gained.
This is one of those old schmaltzy anthems from way back, but they’re always so much fun for the pianist. I love them, because I get to express myself! They’re all over the keyboard, every range of dynamic, filled with rich harmonies. They’re challenging, and I need the challenge. But more than anything, I love how the music expresses the words.
When the vocalists are singing about Calvary’s love and the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, the music is washing over me, which is probably why the words elude me. At some point, I stop listening. I get too caught up in the music, in what I’m playing… Because that’s how I worship with this piece. I let the love I’m hearing in the voices and the lyrics wash over me as I play and I feel closer to God. Like He is sitting on the bench with me.
It doesn’t get any better than that.