The Little Red Piano

A children’s fiery-red piano, baby grand in style, sat off to one side of the room on Christmas morning. We had decided to save it for last, not because we didn’t want to surprise our little musician, but simply because we didn’t want to hear the pounding of the keys while trying to enjoy a peaceful, magical Christmas with four children, ages 12, 9. 7, and 4.

Though we wanted this piano to be  our youngest daughter’s first gift, we decided instead to cover it up with a fuzzy fleece blanket; the music maker was nestled in the corner next to the fireplace.

A silver, glittery, sparkle hat sat atop our little one’s silky, black hair. This hat would later be referred to as the “piano hat”. Those big brown eyes stared at the tree with great anticipation and wonder. As everyone took turns opening gifts, the tension began to mount. Though our little singer  loved her Legos, pink Etch-A-Sketch, and Snowball, the barking mechanical dog, it was almost as if she knew that there was a “gift” destined to be hers!

Several moments passed . . . and suddenly, Dad quickly turns on the video camera and rips off the yellow blanket. “Surprise, Joelle!” echoed across the room. But instead of giggles of delight and joy, a dead silence permeated and bounced off the unfinished, sheet rocked walls. Your brown eyes began to glisten with tears and bewilderment; the question, “For me, and only me?” was written all over your face. After a great deal of reassurance that the gift was yours and a declaration of how much we love you was said, you sat down at the red, wooden bench, made just for you.

Then, you began to quietly play. Your chubby little fingers sailed across those ivory keys speckled with rectangular dark ones. Really, it seemed like you had been playing for years. Maybe in your dreams? Joey Walker’s song, “One True God”, rang out. We were all frozen to our seats as you played; no one moved, no one spoke.  We were mesmerized and deeply honored to be part of your Christmas miracle.

This moment in time was my Christmas blessing. Your joy and delight, mixed in with a deep soul wrenching gratitude, is permanently etched inside my heart forever. The song you chose to sing was written so that other children could have forever homes. How did you know that this song was so important?  God knows.

For those of you who would like to put music into a child’s heart, like Joelle who was adopted from China in 2011, please go to and purchase the worship album Let Us Return or the children’s worship one: Following Jesus. All proceeds go to help others adopt.  Millions of children are counting on you to play their song of hope and of joy.


  1. Laura Verrill says:

    How beautiful! This brings tears to my eyes. We’ve already purchased the worship album “Let us Return” and are so blessed to be a part of this movement to answer Jesus’ call to care for the orphans.

  2. Awesome! Can’t wait to hear our little worshiper play

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