She was a delicate, beautiful, slightly built young woman who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. After walking into my teaching studio in Tyler, Texas and shyly introducing herself as Sheron, she told me she was interested in her five year old son, Ali, beginning piano lessons. She seemed a bit unsure of herself, and I noticed she also had a two-year-old son who appeared to be very hyper-active with disciplinary challenges! I gladly enrolled her little boy in lessons and decided to take him myself, as I had a few openings.
Ali did fairly well when he practiced, but I don’t think piano was his main interest in life; probably, more than likely, it was his mom’s idea for him to come! As the weeks passed and he came to his half-hour lesson, I would visit briefly with Sheron and discuss her son’s progress, among other things. I learned that she was new to our country, having recently moved here from her native country of Iran. She had a degree in biophysics and after moving to the U.S. had met and married a fellow Iranian who owned several gas station/convenience stores in the area. She was always very pleasant to talk with and our friendship grew.
One day she confided to me that she was very lonely and did not seem able to make many friends in our country. I told her I would be her friend and that seemed to please her. I knew she had her hands full with two very active boys and I just tried to help her feel comfortable. The next time Sheron brought Ali to his lesson, she said to me, “I want to know about Jesus! I have been reading some and hearing about Him. Can you help me?” I excitedly shared my testimony of receiving Jesus as my personal Savior from sin and asked her if she had a Bible. She did not, and I told her I would get her one, which I promptly did. When I presented it to her the following week, she was very excited, telling me she was fluent in English and could easily read an English edition. She also began reading materials about the Gospel in her native Farsi language.
The next time she came I asked her if she would like to receive Jesus as her Savior. She eagerly said, “Yes!” and after explaining what conversion was all about, I led her in the sinner’s prayer and Sheron became a Christian! I asked if she had a church home and invited her to come to our church. She said she would try, but that her husband was a Muslim and did not like the Christian faith. She seemed a bit concerned about this fact, and I told her I would be her prayer partner and together we would pray for her husband. Then she shared with me the fact that she had suffered with severe back pain for some time; I prayed for her healing and she told me the pain left! The next week she was jubilant when she told me she had not suffered any more pain all week and that she was still rejoicing in her new-found salvation through the blood of Christ!
Not too long after this a young woman in her twenties, with a remarkable voice and to whom I had taught voice lessons when she was in high school, came back to refresh and sing again with me. During her first vocal lesson, she confided in me that she had recently converted to the “Wicca” faith, a variety of witchcraft, although she had been a Baptist when I had taught her years earlier. Although I was somewhat aghast and surprised, I simply told her I would pray for her. She knew how I believed and week after week at our lesson, she would still sing some Christian songs along with Broadway and operatic tunes she was working on. At times I would have a chance to witness to her of my faith, once again. One day, she came and told me about some heart-wrenching things in her life, and began to sob in anguish. As the tears streamed down her face, I said, “Michelle (not her real name), it’s time to come back! Jesus is waiting for you and you know you will never be happy until you surrender to Him!” She nodded in agreement, and prayed the sinner’s prayer with me. Great joy flooded her countenance and the next week when she returned for her lesson, she glowed with a peace that made her look almost like an entirely different person!
Both Sheron and Michelle moved out of my life, Ali discontinuing his lessons and Michelle moving away. I never saw either of them again, and perhaps I never will, but out of the thousands of people I have taught, I never forgot them! I know God used me in that little studio to help two young women come to Christ. Sometimes when I became discouraged about teaching kids who didn’t want to be there, or when it seemed that my work was in vain, I thought about them and others who had come for lessons, many pouring out their hearts and problems to me with tears streaming down their faces, often saying as they sang worship songs, “I don’t know why, but this just brings something out in me that makes the tears flow!” I would tell them this was the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
When you get discouraged or feel like giving up some days, just remember God can bring people into your life and down your path, even in the workplace! You don’t have to preach them a sermon; just be their friend and bring Jesus to them as He leads you! I found out through these experiences that “music really is worship”…being “salt and light” in a dark place!