The Restored Heirloom

by Nancy Kay Grace

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1 NIV

The antique parlor grand piano remained the final item in my in-law’s estate. The family didn’t know what to do with the instrument, since it hadn’t been played in decades. It was out of tune, and needed a lot of work to make it playable. Its mahogany wood grain was barely visible through the cracked, dull varnish. The closed piano lid provided a display area for family photos and plants, and years of watering the plants had damaged the wood.

My husband and I didn’t have the heart to discard the piano. We felt an emotional connection to this family heirloom with its unique history. It had been on stage during silent movies, and was played by a long-ago relative in a church. I, too, had played it in its better days. Could the seemingly worthless instrument become a restored treasure with a new song?

We took a risk and found a piano restorer who agreed to work on the instrument. The restoration began as the legs were removed, and the keyboard set aside. Decades of dust clung to the strings. Some strings needed replacing, and a hammer had to be handcrafted. Sanding and refinishing the damaged wood took months. But eventually the restored instrument was delivered to our home. Was it playable?

Tears filled my eyes at the beauty and sound of the piano. After decades of dormancy, the 100-year-old parlor grand piano gained a new life, redeemed from disposal. The keys no longer stick and are responsive to a soft or firm touch. The rich wood grain has a warm patina.

The restored piano sounds better than it should, for all it has been through with many moves in its lifetime. It holds a tune, to the piano technician’s amazement. The instrument has a new song.

The Lord has transformed me, too. He has taken my old self with doubts, fears, and insecurities, and exchanged them with hope and acceptance in His love. He shapes me by smoothing off my rough edges and out-of-tune attitudes. God has given me a new song. I am a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God uses everything in our lives when we give everything to Him—our past, our pain and brokenness, even the times when we have no song. Anyone is worthy of restoration in God’s eyes. We can be renewed day by day when we seek the Lord. Our growing faith is a legacy to be shared with future generations.

The Lord restores and tunes us to be more like Him, creating a new song in us.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What differences have you noticed in yourself since believing in Jesus?


7 thoughts on “The Restored Heirloom

  1. Nancy, I read your story with some sadness since the antique upright piano I learned on as a child was past saving. So many memories. But I bought an electric keyboard and use that instead. Sometimes our physical heirlooms can’t be saved but praise God, in heaven there will be no sense of loss. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Nancy, I could have written a similar story as our “family piano” bought for my mother in 1930 by my grandfather was recently restored to its original color and sound. My mother, sister, and I all played it, and after Mother passed away, my adult nephew initiated the process. When it was delivered, and I played an arrangement of “How Great is Our God,” my sister, nephew, and I cried because the words of the song reflected our feelings that God is so great to restore the piano, and as you said, to restore us, too. Thank you for sharing! Fran Sandin


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