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  • Michael W. Newman

Music in the Mess

Tucked away in the corner of a Chick-fil-A I visited recently was a not-so-typical accessory of a fast-food restaurant. On the way to the kids’ play area; across from the napkin, straw and ketchup station; pressed between tables for customers was an electric piano.

Around the height of the lunch hour, a gray-haired woman wearing a red Chick-fil-A shirt and black apron sat at the piano and played Gospel songs.

Nuggets and sandwiches were being ordered. Soft drinks were being filled. Credit cards were being inserted and colorful table-markers were being handed to customers. All the while, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done” rang out above the clamor.

Isn’t it just like God to appear in the thick of commotion? Walking in a disrupted Eden, rising as a pillar of cloud and fire in a panicked wilderness, vaporizing an altar in front of the 450 prophets of Baal, crying in a manger, bleeding on a cross, surprising more than 500 people with his fully-alive scarred hands, feet and side. And between bites of chicken and in the thick of rumbling conversations, “Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so” fills the air.

This is God with us, Immanuel. He shows up where you don’t expect Him to. He steps into common and undesirable places. He gets His hands dirty. He draws close, redeems and surprises with His grace.

And this is why He sends you and me—ordinary people with messy lives—into the mess to let the music of His grace fill common, frightening, and unholy places with eternal hope and amazing grace.

The song you’re given is what the world needs. As you make your way through the world, be sure to have a seat at the piano bench on a regular basis “to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love!”

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