A Broken String And An Open Heart

Photo by  Felipe Furtado  on  Unsplash

It was a few days ago. My band had an outdoor gig on a hot, summer evening. Two of our members couldn't make it, so the three of us had a blast doing a strip-downed, acoustic version of our songs. About an hour and a half into the gig, we finally took a short break. (Praise God for the complimentary smoothies the venue provided.) To close out the evening, we planned a set of some of our favorite worship songs. As we sang the final chorus in the first song of this closing set, it happened. My third string broke. “No problem”, I thought. “I'll let the other guys take the next song. I'll change my string and be up and ready for the next tune.” I've done it before, right? As my friends sang and played on, I threaded up a new string, turned the machine head to bring it up to pitch and, SNAP! Now the adjacent string had broken. Was it the heat? Was it the humidity? Was my guitar just way overdue for being restrung? I don't know. But checking my watch I realized that taking the time to replace yet another string could mean missing out on another song (or two), and our time was quickly coming to a close. I debated in my head for a few seconds. I mean, I need my guitar to finish this out, right? And then it felt as if someone was saying, “Forget the guitar, Nate. You don't need to play on every song. Just sing.” I decided to go with it, walked up to the mic, and joined in as the song continued with just an acoustic guitar and keys. As we came to the close of the final song, we carried it home with just our voices. And, you know what? It was good. It was better than good. It was perfect. I could have ruined that moment. I could have insisted that I needed to keep playing my guitar, out of tune most likely, as the new strings still struggled to settle in. But instead I learned that sometimes your voice is more than enough to make a joyful noise. Sometimes we complicate things more than they need to be. Sometimes it's not about us and what we think we can add. Sometimes less is more.