Brass bending for squeeky faith

It looks like I spend a fortune on saxophones, but I only buy cheap, undervalued horns. New and collectible saxes cost thousands of dollars. I buy horns for $100 or less. But with trial and error, a tiny screwdriver, rubber bands and a few scraps of cork, I can make a cheap horn sound like its $1,000 cousin. I’ve sold at cost or given away most of these horns to promising young students, saving their parents a bundle! It’s a hobby that almost pays for itself.

These saxes sell cheap because they are common, damaged or out-of-adjustment. Like a good used car, they lose that showroom premium price when the first student opens the case. Some are abused, others neglected, but seldom is the problem over-use. More often, they are carelessly stored, played or transported by someone who doesn’t understand their value.

An old sax squeaks because it leaks. As you play, you stop the leaks by pressing the keys harder, which in turn bends the keys and seals the pads until the leaks and squeaks go away.

I’ve found my faith walk a lot like those old saxophones. At first, I squeak my way through counseling, teaching and preaching. My faith is weak, but I press on, bending the keys and sealing the pads, getting it better until I get it right. Eventually, it all seems effortless.

That’s the beauty of practice and soft brass that bends just enough when you press hard enough to sound the note.

The disciples said, “Lord, increase our faith!” Buy us a better sax, Lord. He said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,” you have faith enough.

The student ponders expensive instruments, mouthpieces and reeds and asks, “What part is most important to the sound?” The Old Master replies, “That fleshy part hanging off the end of the mouthpiece.” It’s not the horn; it’s the player. It’s not the faith; it’s the “faith-er”.

You don’t need a better Bible, a bigger church or a different set of talents. What you need is on-the-job training! Use your faith in service to God. Press on until the squeaks go away and listen as your melody of faith grows strong and certain.


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