TITLE: An Ear for the Deep 6/21/14
By Richard McCaw
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An Ear for the Deep
When your bank account is empty and you open a letter that just arrived in your mailbox, your eyes may grow wide with wonder as you see a crisp check for the exact amount you need to pay some pressing bill. If you are not specially religious, you may put it down to ‘luck. If you are a child of God, you will give thanks to God for such ample provision.
For our mother it was often a strain to keep providing for two growing children. Grocery items were always increasing, no matter which political party was ruling the country. Besides, we were renting a cottage at the time. She would come home from work,then cook, iron, clean the house and prepare for the next day. To consider sending me to an extra music lesson besides the violin while at Wolmer’s was definitely out of the question. However, listen to this!
One day, the school music teacher stood at the door of my classroom, arms surrounding a wide abdomen and a pleased smile on his lips. “I would like to announce that Richard McCaw has been awarded the “Wolmers' Music Scholarship!”
Here is how that all began.
After coming home from school one day, I turned on the radio. For the first time I heard Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The strong chords of the organ boomed out of that little brown box, the rippling tones of scales and arpeggios up and down the organ manuals fascinated me. I fell in love with Bach immediately. I was sure he was the greatest composer that ever lived. Shortly afterwards, Sidney Morris, the school music teacher gave our class an essay to write about music to which we had listened. I had found a precious jewel in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. So, I wrote about the Toccata.
Not long after, while in class, Mr. Morris appeared at the door. A tall, dark-skinned gentleman, educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he had returned to teach in Jamaica. His distinctly British accent had affectionately earned him the nickname “The Count.” Suddenly, I was being congratulated for the music scholarship award by clapping and thumping on school desks all across the classroom. My face must have beamed just then.
Mr. Morris personally took me under his wing and frequently had me play the violin at early morning school devotions in the school hall. I stood with violin squeezed between my left shoulder and chin playing classical music, supposedly to bring an atmosphere of reverence as the entire school filed in, line by line, class by class.
When I was finished playing, Mr. Jackson, the headmaster, a tall Englishman, who constantly exhibited a smoker’s cough, would look over his black turtleshell spectacles and say, “Thank you, McCaw!” and after a pause, “And now the hymn number...!”
Then, I had to accompany the school hymn on the violin. At the end of the lusty singing of a hall filled with schoolboys, he gurgled through coughs, “Now, let us pray!”
The monotonous hum of the entire school reciting the Lord’s Prayer echoed throughout the school hall, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name! Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread...!”
During those years, I distinguished myself as a distinction candidate both on the violin and the piano in the Royal Schools Examinations held every year between March and April. This whole classical thing was taking me deeper into the knowledge of both instruments and preparing me for the work to which God would call me in later years.
That was a miracle of provision! “A door was opened to me by the Lord!” I never had to pay for my music lessons for the rest of my time at Wolmers!’
Remember Abraham on Mount Moriah about to sacrifice his only son, Isaac? About to plunge the knife, the angel stopped him. “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Isaac was delivered and a substitute lamb was found; a ram caught in the thicket. An all-knowing, omniscient being, whom Abraham called ‘Jehovah-Jireh’ was watching all the time. The term means ‘Jehovah will see,’ ‘Jehovah will see to it!’ or ‘Jehovah will provide,’
As we continue to examine the rest of the puzzle, the same evidence keeps turning up all the time. God was not only watching over every step of my life, but seeing to it that his purposes were being fulfilled. Moreover He was setting the stage for many to be brought into His kingdom. He is the Great Provider, the OverSeer, the One Who sees the end from the beginning of all those who put their trust in Him!
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