“Glad you like it.” Barney nodded to the sisters and glanced at Charlie. “I’ll get the truck started.” He gathered up the blankets and disappeared out the door.

“Thanks, Barney.” Charlie took a small notebook from his pocket and began scribbling.

Miss Esther went to the kitchen and retrieved the check she’d written earlier. She handed it to Charlie.

“Ah, thank-you very much.” Charlie signed his bill and wrote ‘Paid in Full’ across it. He handed it to Miss Esther. “Good doing business with you.”

“You and Barney have done an excellent job.” Miss Esther gave him an appreciative smile.

“Thank-you. We always try to do business as Jesus would: with integrity, kindness and efficiency.” Charlie smiled as he slipped the notebook and check into his pocket. “Would one of you mind actually playing something so we can make sure the piano is alright inside?”

“Go ahead.” Susanna nudged Esther from behind.

Miss Esther took a seat on the bench and rested her hands on the keys. “What shall I play?”

“Your favorite song to play without music!” Susanna came up behind her. “How about, My Jesus I Love Thee?”Miss Esther nodded and her fingers moved into action. At first the notes were hesitant and then as she got the feel of the instrument they began to roll forth. The arrangement took in the height and breadth of the piano’s tonal range, releasing a symphony of sound such as had never been heard in the library before. Finally Miss Esther struck the final note.

“Now that was lovely.” Charlie clapped his paws. “Beautiful reminder and beautiful playing, Miss Esther.”

“Thank-you.” Miss Esther touched the keys softly. “I’m so glad the Lord gave us music to enjoy as we praise Him. This piano makes the playing almost effortless.”

“I rejoice with you. But I would say ‘effortless’ has more to do with the performer than the piano.” Charlie smiled and reached out a paw. “You ladies have a wonderful evening.”

“Thank-you, Charlie. You too.” Miss Esther shook the delivery dog’s paw warmly.

Charlie went out to the truck and the house suddenly seemed very quiet.

“I can hardly believe the piano is here.” Miss Esther pressed a hand to her forehead. “It’s all happened so fast!”

“I can believe it!” Susanna twirled in a circle for emphasis. “It’s just like the Lord to surprise us with something like this. Shall we see what’s in the box?”

The two sisters found places to sit and opened the box. It contained a piano lamp and a whole stack of piano music.

“Oh look, Esther!” Susanna held up a grey volume. “It’s the piano score for Handel’s Messiah! Priscilla will be thrilled.”

“We’ll be able to do duets!” Miss Esther clapped her hands. “Let’s pile the music on top the piano for now. Can you connect the lamp? You’re arms are a bit longer than mine.”

“No problem!” Susanna lifted the lamp from it’s wrappings and set it atop the piano. Then she plugged it into the closest outlet. She flipped the switch on the lamp and soft light fell down on the piano keys. “It works!”

“Splendid!” Miss Esther settled a pile of music on the top of the piano. “I can’t wait to see Priscilla’s face when she walks in!”

Miss Esther and Susanna set to work to put the furniture back in place. Soon all was arranged comfortably and the sisters turned their attention to other household duties for the afternoon. But shortly before 5:00pm they met up again in the kitchen.

“Priscilla should be home soon.” Susanna’s eyes sparkled. “How shall we surprise her?”

“What if we don’t say anything and see how long it takes her to notice?” Miss Esther smiled at the thought. “Or, you could stand there and block her view and I’ll ask her what the very nicest surprise she can think of is?”

“I like the second one.” Susanna bounced up and down on her toes. “Let’s try that.”

“Okay! I’ll get the sweet potatoes ready for the oven.” Miss Esther deftly cut the potatoes in half longways and then laid them on the baking pan. She then added a little bit of water to keep the potatoes moist and slid the pan into the oven. “They should be done right about the time we’ve had a chance to talk over the piano.”

“Perfect.” Susanna looked out the glass door for the dozenth time. “Here she comes! Oh, Esther, here she comes!”

Miss Esther dried her hands on a kitchen towel just as Priscilla opened the front door. Susanna stood strategically between the kitchen and the library, a book in her hands.

“Welcome home, Priscilla!” Miss Esther went to give her sister a hug. “I just put the sweet potatoes in the oven.”

“Sounds delicious!” Priscilla undid her bonnet strings. “Just the thing after a very full day!”

Miss Esther took Priscilla’s library bag and set it to one side.

“Now, Priscilla, we have a surprise for you.” Miss Esther clasped her hands together to hold herself still. “What’s the very nicest surprise you can think of?”

“Oh, I don’t know!” Priscilla chuckled and glanced at Susanna. “Is Cousin Flossy coming for a visit?”

Miss Esther shook her head. “Think again.”

“Let’s see.” Priscilla tapped her chin. “You found strawberries on sale at the market and we’re having shortcake for dessert tonight!” She laughed and then suddenly she paled. “Or, did…did you find an ad for a used piano, Susanna?”

Susanna grinned and looked at Miss Esther. Miss Esther nodded and Susanna stepped aside so that the rest of the library could be seen.

Priscilla dropped her bonnet and let out a scream. Miss Esther caught her sister by the arm for fear she might faint.

“A piano? Girls!” Priscilla pressed a hand to her heart. “Where did it come from?”

“It’s from our friend Beverly.” Miss Esther tried to keep herself from talking too fast. “She inherited it but it was too big for her house. She wanted it to be used for ministry and so she gave it to us.”

“Gave it to us?” Priscilla’s words were a whisper.

“Yes, I know.” The tears started to Miss Esther’s eyes. “Come see it, Priscilla. It was just delivered a couple hours ago. Susanna and I wanted to surprise you.”

Priscilla laughed slightly. “Well, you succeeded.”

The three sisters moved towards where the piano stood at the end of the library.

“Try it, Priscilla.” Susanna’s voice was eager. “It’s out of tune, but it still sounds pretty good.”

Priscilla sat down on the piano bench and then suddenly gasped. “It’s a K&K?”

“Yes. It’s a real, authorized, official Karen&Kristen.” Miss Esther laid a gentle hand on Priscilla’s shoulder. “Isn’t God good to us?”

Priscilla couldn’t speak for a moment. The tears were running down her cheeks.

“Do play something for us, Priscilla.” Susanna’s voice was a whisper. “Esther and I have both tried it, but we can hardly wait to hear you make it really sing.”

Priscilla sniffed and brushed at her cheeks. “Well, let’s see…”

She tested the keys a few times and then began to play the hymn ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’. By the time she reached the chorus Miss Esther and Susanna couldn’t hold their voices in any longer.

“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.”

The sisters went on through all the verses, Priscilla playing the chorus twice at the end for fun. Susanna held the melody, Priscilla sang the alto and Miss Esther took the high soprano. The rich tones of the piano, the truth of the words, the harmony of voices and the joy of the Lord overflowed till it seemed a taste of heaven had filled the room.

When the last note had died away, Miss Esther caught Susanna’s hand. “Come, girls, let’s thank the Lord and dedicate the piano to Him.”

“Pray for us, Esther?” Priscilla’s eyes were shinning with unshed tears.

The sisters all bowed their heads.

“Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You so much for this wonderful piano. Our heart’s are so full we’re not quite sure how to say our thanks adequately, but You understand.” Miss Esther swallowed hard. “This piano is Yours and we pray it would always be used in Your service. Please help us to take good care of it. May it be surrounded with many good memories for years to come! Thank-You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Amen.” Her sisters echoed the word reverently.

“You should see the music it came with, Priscilla.” Susanna sprang to her feet. “There’s even a piano score for Handel’s Messiah!”

An hour later Miss Esther slipped into the kitchen to check on the potatoes and pull out the salad. Susanna and Priscilla were still at the piano, trying one duet after another.

Miss Esther decided the potatoes needed an extra ten minutes. It would give her time to chop the tomatoes for the salad. She took the tomatoes to the sink to wash them and paused to look out the window.

The sun had set behind the mountains and dusk was settling over the outside world. Miss Esther thought back to her quiet time thought of the morning. She had wanted to follow Christ’s example by doing the work she’d been given to do.

“I’d no idea it’d be quite so much fun, Lord.” Miss Esther glanced back at her sisters and smiled. “It’s a joy to serve just like You do. Truly, knowing You and walking with You is the greatest privilege on earth.”

Then Miss Esther focused back on the tomatoes. Dinner was in eight minutes and her work was to get it ready. She threw herself into the task with fresh energy and heart. Here was her next chance to be like Jesus.

The End

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

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