How We Got our Organ

(Writing 101, Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.)

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I  was recovering from a major surgery that had sapped my energy.  I hadn’t been out of the house for most of a month.  I was starting to feel a little better, and was becoming restless.  Terry had some business to take care of in Minneapolis, so  we decided to make a day of it.

The weather was wonderful as we headed south from our house in the country near Brainerd. Spring was coming on in its full glory, and the tender green of newly-budded trees against the mild blue of the sky  kept me entertained for several miles.  I really didn’t need to talk.  Just to be out enjoying the countryside and the fresh air was a complete delight.  I still grew tired easily, and I fell asleep somewhere south of St. Cloud.  I remember waking up just as we neared the Twin Cities, hardly believing the time had gone so fast.

Terry quickly found the place he needed, and it didn’t take long for him to finish his business.  We had planned to find a place to enjoy lunch, so that was next on the agenda. As we ate, we talked about whether or not I had the energy to do anything else.  I didn’t think so.  I was amazed at how the energy just seemed to leak out of me, as if someone had pulled a plug.  So we finished our meal, walked back to the car, and headed north.

As we reached the outskirts of the city, Terry said, “Linda, there’s Schmitt’s Music.  The big warehouse, where they have pianos and organs. Do you want to stop and look?”

“Well, sure, I love looking at instruments, but we can’t take too long.”

“Did you see they’re having their semi-annual  sale?  Maybe we can find you an organ.”

“Oh, sure.  One of those little chord organs that only has one keyboard would be about what we could afford!”

The warehouse was vast. Pianos of every size crowded the first showroom. I drooled over the concert grands, the baby grands, the uprights and the spinets.  Pianos are such beautiful instruments. Schmitt’s had nothing but the best. It was a pleasure just to press down a key or run a quick scale. The touch and the tone were outstanding.

Terry had wandered ahead of me into the organ showrooms.  I’d had to sit down for a few minutes, and before I got up again he came back and said, “Come on, there’s something I want to show you.”

He took me to the middle of the showroom. The organ standing there was a Wurlitzer Concert, a digital organ, It had three keyboards, one of which was a synthesizer. There were other settings for rhythms, chords, and accompaniments, but the organ could also sound just like a pipe organ. Well, of course I had to sit down and play around. There were headphones I could plug in so no one else had to listen to me play. The pedals created a wonderful resonant bass, and I let out all the stops, so to speak. I think I fell in love right there.  

Of course a salesman was standing by. He was nice, not pushy. He told us the organ was a floor model that had been used as a teaching instrument, and he could give us a really good price, which he then named. He stood there beaming at us, waiting for us to jump at the bargain. But we couldn’t. The price he quoted was indeed reasonable for the instrument, but not for our bank account. Terry made a counter-offer, though, much to my surprise. I couldn’t imagine he’d be able to bargain the price down to our range.

We talked for a while longer, and regretted that we just couldn’t come up with the money. We were quiet as we got back into the car, quiet as we headed up the road. Then Terry said, “Linda, I think the Lord wants you to have that organ.  When we get home, I’m going to call the guy and make him another offer.”  He told me how much he thought we could afford to spend, and he said he knew it wasn’t anywhere near what the organ was worth, but he just felt strongly that he was supposed to try.

So he did. He got on the phone the minute we got into the house, explained who he was, and said, “I’ve thought about it, prayed about it, and I believe God wants my wife to have that organ. I’m willing to offer you $—–, and that’s as high as I can go. I’ll understand if you refuse, but I want you to at least consider it.”

The salesman laughed. He said, “Well, I have to admire your determination.  I’ll tell you what.  We have another couple who are looking at it.  If they decided against it, I’ll talk to my boss and get back to you.”  It sounded like your typical sale’s pitch, right?

After he got off the phone, Terry called the family into the living room. He explained to our kids what was going on, and how strongly he felt the Lord urging him to get this organ for me.  We spent some prayer time there, each one of us adding our own petition that we would see this prayer answered. And then, all we could do was wait.

By this time I was too tired for words.  Terry helped me back to the bedroom, and I don’t remember another thing until morning.

The next day, Sunday afternoon, the phone rang. Terry picked up, and looked at me as he spoke. “Hello, this is Terry. . . .yes, we’re the ones who called last night. . . .yes, we’re still willing to make that offer. . . .really?  Well, sure!  That’s terrific!  What. . . .you’ll deliver it up here?  Wow, we didn’t expect that. . . .no extra charge?  Sure can’t turn that down!   Okay, yes, my wife will be home. . . .  . . .right, she’ll be here. Tuesday afternoon will be just fine.  Yes, Thank you.  Thank you very much!  We’ll look forward to seeing you!”

I was crying. I’m not sure if it was because I was so excited, or that I was just amazed at the way God answered a prayer that was for something we didn’t need,  but that He took pleasure in giving us. Terry, of course, acted as if it were no big deal.  After all, hadn’t he felt prompted by God in the whole situation?

Tuesday came, and the truck pulled in just as they promised. They brought in this beautiful organ. They brought in the bench. They brought in the manual and the instructions, and they brought in a box chock full of sheet music created specifically for that organ, all included in the price. They set it up for me, dusted it off, undid the protective bubble wrap from the legs of the organ and the bench, and left me alone with my wonderful new gift. The kids wouldn’t be home from school for an hour or so, and I spent the whole time learning all the bells and whistles.

It’s been 25 years, and I still love my organ.  It came across the country with us to Pennsylvania, and it had to have some work after that, but it still sounds as good as new. Every time I sit down to play, I remember my husband’s heart and the heart of God, both taking joy in gifting me with something I would treasure for years.

I am thankful.

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