Before I became a mom, I worked in a secondary Special Educarion school handling the finances of four SpEd programs and School Nursing Services. Our school was different than a traditional SpEd school in that it offered vocational training. We had job sites both on and off campus. Some students were bussed to locations in the community such as Sam’s Club and K-Mart, while other’s stayed at the school to work in the computer lab or floral shop.
One of my favorite aspects of the school was the small restaurant on campus where the students learned food service skills. Everyday at 11:00, I helped the café instructor by working with students on the cash register. Since the school served only 160 students at a time, I knew almost all of them by name. I had the chance to work with students from all different backgrounds.
Working with such students presented me with many opportunities to learn and grow. One student in particular that stood out to me was a girl named Sage who was studying floral design. One of the rooms in the school hosted a beautiful, black grand piano, and one day, Sage asked her teacher if she could play it during class. Her teacher told her that if she had her things put away in time, she could play the piano for a few minutes before she got on the bus. Sage was usually a good student, but on that day, she was exceptionally well-behaved. Ten minutes before class ended, she had everything cleaned up and was ready to play the piano. Her teacher asked her if she had taken piano lessons, and she said, “No, I’ve never had a piano at home to practice on.” So we assumed that Sage would sit at the piano and fiddle with the keys for a while without making much of an impression on those listening.
When Sage sat down at the piano, she hit a few notes to help position herself at the keys, and then she began to play the most beautiful rendition of How Great Thou Art, as if she were a concert pianist. Her hands moved up and down the entire piano hitting several keys at a time resulting in perfect chords. She knew exactly where to place her hands, and she never hit a bad note. Not one! There were several of us in the room with her at the time, and every single one of us had tears in our eyes. She continued to play songs until it was time to board her bus. While walking her out to the bus, her teacher asked her how she learned to play like that. Sage said, “I don’t know where I learned it. I just sat at a piano at church one day, and I knew how to play it.”
Sage was blind. And to think of her sitting at the piano creating such beautiful music by simply hearing the song in her heart brings tears to my eyes even now. Listening to her play the piano made me feel like I was taking part in a miracle. What an amazing God we have – to take away a young girl’s sight for reasons we can’t comprehend and give her an incredible musical gift.
I don’t know where Sage is now, but I hope there is a piano nearby.