I was thinking about Eddy— a man I randomly encountered yesterday morning as I commuted by train to work in Downtown Los Angeles. I have always loved the main room of the station, and wanted to see it quickly before walking to my office in the opposite direction. Suddenly, I found myself drawn to the tasteful jazz tunes echoing above the movement in the building. There he was: Eddy Shaw, a man who’s moment at the piano which would have a lasting effect on my thinking.
After admring his playing, I immediately introduced myself, learning that Eddy moved to LA from Ohio and used to play with a gospel singer I once sang with, which was rather unifying. I studied him as he continued to find joy in his gifting. I was moved by this random free-to-play piano set in place for anyone who dare choose.
Eddy was just here to live alongside everyone else, enjoying his life and work. He walks through this room everyday, and everyday, it is met by the sounds of traveling trains, footsteps, and echoing conversations inside Union Station.
Someone decided to change the ordinary, usual way of life for Eddy. Someone thought a piano and a sign saying, “show your chops” was necessary for a way of life inside of Union Station.
Soon enough, Eddy’s eyes met the piano, as he recalled the days of playing live. His curiosity drove his hands to the keys as he began to play again, lighting up the historic train station with something which was missing: atmosphere.
I thought about Eddy and the nameless person who decided to change the way of life for this man. As he reignited his gift, many were stopping to listen, to sing, to sway side to side in awe and wonder. “Bravo!” they said, and a special compliment given saying, “thank you for playing. You have changed the atmosphere of this place.”
If there was ever a lesson today, it was this: To not let the ordinary stay ordinary. I think it’s so easy to fall into this trap thinking what is, should stay as it is. Sometimes it works— but what if we just practice dreaming, gave our ideas a shot and made a right turn instead of a left turn? Is there enough curiosity inside of us? If we dare to live, we will find ourselves in awe and wonder. Is there a zeal for living so others might be able to live a full life as well? I was so grateful for this moment today. More so, I was grateful for the person who decided that this lifeless room didn’t have to stay this way “because we’ve always done it this way”.
I’m inviting you to make each day count, to be a catalyst for change and spontaneity, allowing the atmosphere to shift. We all have the chance to be a trailblazer and create a pathway for someone to find life. And when they do, others find it as well. When someone is doing the thing they were created to do, God’s presence is shining in his creation. Take a look at what has “always been done this way” and see whether it is time to break out a new version in the same space. Who knows, you might be inviting someone with a dormant gift, to connect with their Creator again.