The old guitar case is beat up and ratty. It is so worn it is difficult to keep the acoustic guitar inside while carrying the failing housing. I watched our youngest struggle with it day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out. Sometimes I carry it to my truck for her and I have to hold onto the handle with my thumb and wrap my fingers over the side of the case to keep the guitar from falling out.
I’m not really sure how she carries that along with her backpack, extra books and binders, her lunch, phone, and pencils to round out the juggling act. I heard, “Dad, can I get a new guitar case?” more than once. The old guitar case that appears to once have been black and not crackled like broken glass, isn’t even hers. The music teacher advised her to use the well-past-its-prime case to help protect her guitar when she brought it home for homework.
Since the beginning of the school year, my daughter has been carrying the old crackled case. She didn’t want to. She desperately wanted a new hard shell guitar case, but couldn’t seem to persuade her dad of the seriousness of her situation. The pleadings at the beginning of the school year for a new guitar case were chock full of all kinds of clever gimmicks to persuade me of the horrible grief the old guitar case presented to her.
I’m old, but I remember being a freshman in high school, the same age of our littlest. I remember desperately wanting new clothes. I had two pairs of 501’s and a limited number of shirts. I didn’t do too much in the way of trying to persuade my mom into buying me more. I knew she would have gotten me more if she were able. I had more than my dad; the one who was doing the providing for all of us.
I recall caring a whole lot about what other people thought of me when I was my daughter’s age. I also think that some of the things that I never got gave me the best thing that I ever got… or didn’t get, as it were. It’s easy at this age to look back and see those things, but not at her age.
With time, our daughter has become less and less vocal about her desire to carry her cherished guitar in a new carrying case. She has figured out a couple of things. First, she is learning that it doesn’t matter too much what other people think of her. She hasn’t mastered the art, but she’s on her way.
I think she’s also figuring out that just because the outside of that case is beat up, worn out, and dirty, it still serves the good purpose for which it was designed; to protect the precious gift inside it. In time, she’ll figure out how that old case is like all of our soul cages… It doesn’t matter how old and worn we are.
The purpose of our human soul carrying case is designed by God in similar ways and it matters more about what’s on the inside and you can’t tell much about the inside of us by looking at the outside…
I hadn’t heard a peep about a new guitar case in months… She also learned that the longer and harder the wait, the sweeter the gift…
Her genuine “thank you” and beautiful smile were a dead give away.