This weekend I spoke at IMG_7548the Liberate 2015 Conference in Florida and Tami Resch, Abby Hutto and Maria Garriott, all Parakaleo girls, spoke at the Women’s Leadership Training Conference in Atlanta. This morning the four of us received the following email from one of our pastors, Steve Resch. It hits the spot for Monday blues!

Since I’m all to familiar with the post-sermon blues and the self doubt that accompanies my performance and impact (over) desires, I share the following story with you to instill courage and comfort in us all.

In his autobiography, Cellist, Gregor Piatigorsky recalls meeting his hero, Pablo Casals, hailed as perhaps the greatest cellist of the twentieth century. Piatigorsky hoped to hear Casals play a piece, but was instead chagrined to find himself being enjoined to play for the master.

A wreck of nerves, Piatigorsky acknowledges he had never played worse than in that moment. He wrecked first Beethoven, then Schumann, then Bach. To his surprise, Casals cheered on each disastrous performance more than the last, clapping him on the back with cries of “Splendid! Magnifique!” Piatigorsky left, unable to understand why his hero should persist in such insincerity.

Years later, Piatigorsky and Casals met again. Over dinner they played for each other until Piatigorsky worked up the courage to ask Casals how he could have cheered on such poor performing at their last encounter. Of Casals, he tells us,

He reacted with sudden anger. He rushed to the cello. “Listen!” He played a phrase from the Beethoven sonata. “Didn’t you play this fingering? Ah, you did! It was novel to me … it was good … and here, didn’t you attack that passage with up-bow, like this?” He demonstrated. He went through Schumann and Bach, always emphasizing all he liked that I had done. “And for the rest,” he said passionately, “leave it to the ignorant and stupid who judge by counting only the faults. I can be grateful, and so must you be, for even one note, one wonderful phrase.” I left with the feeling of having been with a great artist and a friend.

Dear friends, our speaking and teaching is and hopefully will always be a work of the Holy Spirit. He has gifted us with this ability and “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). He has taken our platform, our words, our audiences, and is doing His work… No matter how we judge ourselves.

Let’s rest in that truth and revel in the inter-trinitarian high fives exchanged and cries of “Splendid! Magnifique!” after we shared the hope of the gospel this week.

Warmly,

Steve