Lord, make me an instrument.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” — The Prayer of Saint Francis.

“Lord, make me an instrument.”  — Me.

Guess what:

For the next hour, you have the ability to play (beautifully, I might add) any musical instrument you can get your hands on.


Let’s all go to the High School band/orchestra room and see what kind of music we can make!

What would you pick up first?

First, I’d pick up the trombone. My dad plays, and I could never produce an actual musical note on that thing. I’d puff and blow and the best I could ever produce was a sort of “pbbbbbbttttt” sound.

But not today. Today I break into a little “When the Saints Go Marching In”, complete with all kinds of slides and slurs. Fun!

Next, I pick up an electric guitar, propped up in a corner by the jazz band instruments. I can already play a little guitar. I know the basic chords. But I never learned to really strum, or finesse, let alone play a solo.

Today is different. Today I play Hendrix’s version of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

I play so loudly people are leaning their heads into the room and “shushing” me.  Today, I ignore them. I’m not interested in that kind of feedback.  I’m interested in this kind:  *Squeeeaal*

Then I switch gears. I pick up an oboe and let loose a gentle haunting melody. I rush over to the cello and improvise some brooding vigorous rhythm.

I pick up the piccolo. Hardly the instrument of choice for a big guy like me, but I play a little of the descant for “Stars and Stripes” just for the fun of it.

What instruments would you like to play?

Maybe you stopped piano lessons in 3rd grade. Today you can play like Liberace.

Maybe you only sing in the shower. Today you’re a diva.

Maybe you struggled with “Mary had a little lamb” on the viola. Today you’re first chair!

It’s a wonderful fantasy, isn’t it? To be a virtuoso on all things musical.

Well, as you and I are rushing around the band room, trying out instruments, God is leaning against the wall, smiling. This is the sound of life, after all. The music  of co-creation. You, and I, and God, collaborating. God loves this.


You see, to God, we are the instruments.

God is the creative spirit. Our lives make the music. We are the instruments.

Don’t worry about hitting every note. Don’t worry about staying in tune.

Sure, it would be fun to be that musically proficient, but God finds joy in all kinds of noise.

So buy a $1 harmonica. Pound on your steering wheel. Dig that high school flute out of the closet. Strum your guitar that’s missing 2 strings. Put your lips together and whistle.

Whatever comes out, comes out of you. That’s good enough.

Whatever comes from your heart…

is music to God’s ears.

Have a great week,


P.S. What instrument have you always wanted to play? Leave a comment.



originally published in 2012

One thought on “Lord, make me an instrument.

  1. I’m the above referenced trombone player and I’m gonna stay with brass. Seems like when I go to the symphony, the trombone players spend most of their time counting long breaks. One, two, three, four; two, two, three, four etc., etc. Meantime, the composers always seem to find something for the French Horn players to do while we trombone guys are counting sheep trying to stay awake. So that’s what I’d like to pick up next: the French Horn. It’s such a great sound!

    Liked by 1 person

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