Alma Humana :: JuJu Bircher

The house was still; tense without her presence. In his eye was the reminiscent reflection of her soul. Every morning they gather around this wood stove. Two souls yearning to abide in the presence of each other; intertwined so intricately that the sum of who they are is grander than their individual worth. He spoke out in the silence:

We sit by this fire every morning with a cup of coffee and worship. 

Tap. Tap. Tap. The sound of his metal spoon hitting the ceramic coffee mug filled the room. This rhythm mixed perfectly with the faint sound of the fire consuming the dry wood. Yet one glimpse of her car put his anxious hand at rest. She was home. That winding country road led her straight to the drive way. He was waiting for her in the rocking chair closest to the fire. As the side door creaked open, her presence filled that old house with a simple elegance. It was as if the whole house released its bated breath for her return.

She greeted everyone sitting by the fire. However, it was not long before he urged her to sit down at the baby grand. With every step she took toward the centerpiece of their home, the whole room anticipated what would happen next. The piano bench scraped against the rough, wooden floors as she moved it from its resting place. It was obvious that this bench did not spend much time resting. As she lifted the fallboard to uncover the keys, she called out from the other room. A sense of angst filled her voice: 

Are you sure you want me to play? I haven't even had a chance to warm up. 

This anticipated moment revealed the truth in his statement. This daily worship was a special moment that only God encounters in its fullest intimacy. This jealous intimacy demands everything of these two human souls. 

She pressed down on the first key, which triggered the hammer to hit the taut string. This is what the tension of the house was missing from the beginning. It was missing the grace of this precious woman filling the stillness of the room with the hope of her music. The tapping of her husband was beckoning her to break the awful silence. This hope-infatuated song was the overflow of her strong fingers dancing around a myriad of ebony and ivory keys. This was the sound of worship: grace so strong that it danced along the tensions of life. With each weighty collision, a hopeful song emerged from the stillness. 

As the Gershwin piece came to an end, the tension in the room subsided. The wooden floors of this house were now saturated in the rich tones of grace colliding with the tension of two human souls.

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