And Jan's accordion made a crunching sound and refused to close its bellows.
Our accordions were a mess...
My accordion was easily fixed by this accordion guru in Walker, Iowa. Allen runs the Simanek Accordion Repair Shop in his front porch. He's extremely knowledgeable and skilled at playing the Czech button accordion. He has many, many accordions (and his wife does not even mind!)
I'm sure his brain can fix anything! His shop was full of parts and pieces and oils and tools. He was able to fix my accordion in about 10 seconds with a strategic shot of silicon. Presto! No more sticking!
But Jan's machine.... now that's another story.
Each week, Jan's accordion made more crunching sounds, but not all the time. She could play it and then it would crunch. It rattled. But she could play it. It was odd.
It was broken, but it still played.
One week, after so much crunching we couldn't ignore it any more, Keith (our saintly teacher) pried off the side to take a peek at the innards of Jan's beautiful accordion.
Now we knew what was rattling and why the bellows would not close and what was causing the crunching.
We were shocked to see the mess on the inside! Wood was splintered and busted. Reeds were rolling about in the crevices. Many pieces were in the wrong places.
Keith surgically removed parts and chunks of parts... lots of chunks of parts... a pile of chunks of parts.
There was nothing left to do but put the side back on and put it in its case. Surely it was destroyed. But Jan strapped it back on just to see what would happen.... and sure enough, her accordion produced the most delightful sound! Jan quickly modulated into an appropriate polka - a beautiful accordion song!
We laughed! We high-fived! We tee-hee'd and did the accordion jig! It was broken but it still played!
I think that's how people are, too.
At times, we are all busted and broken. Things happen to us. We make poor decisions. Everyone has something in their life that is broken or disappointing. We fail. That's how life is.
But even when our lives are broken, we can still be used by our heavenly Father. He might repair us, or sometimes, He might not. A simple shot of silicon might be what's needed, or a complete overhaul.
But through it all, we can still be used. We can still play.