He strummed the Martin N-20 classical with his weathered hand and melancholy music filled the air. The guitar was worn and tired like its owner. The guitar's face was covered with scars, pits, and an odd-looking hole. Divorce, the IRS, his son’s suicide and the death of several close friends had beaten down the owner. The two were a match - Trigger and its player.
In 1969 a struggling country singer, with a pig farm and a marriage that was failing, bought the guitar. Most guitars don’t have names but this one does. Willie Nelson calls his guitar Trigger. With it the jazz musician plays what he is feeling. He pours out his heart and music through it—mistakes and all. He improvises when he is singing, working his personality into the song, through his guitar.
Instead of slowing down as he approaches ninety Willie Nelson keeps doing what he has done for years playing his very matured-with-age guitar. It reminds me of another musician who regarded his guitar as a friend. On which many melancholy meditations poured forth.
"...David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him." Acts 13:22 NLT
Even at a younger age than Willie, David began to play the harp, the forerunner of the guitar. He carried it with him wherever he went. Whether doing errands for his father, herding sheep, David’s trusty harp was at his side. He even used it in his service to the king. David was always on-call to play at the king’s wishes.
For David his ten stringed harp was the foundation of his prayers and praise. It provided the musical base from which he hummed, chanted, and sang. This simple harp brought healing and refreshment to those who heard its sheep-gut strings vibrate in adoration to David’s God.
I am looking forward to going to the Holy Land and worshipping in the places where David played his harp--the hills of Bethlehem where he played in his devotion and in Gibeah where he played for the king.
I encourage you to carry your prayers and praise to God wherever you go. You may not have a guitar like Willie or a harp like David but you have the strings God put in you that vibrate every time you sing. You have a trusty harp built inside you. Your vocal cords are strings that vibrate when you blow across them. Willie had Trigger, David had a Kinnor, and you have your voice. Give Him perpetual praise and endless eulogies where ever you are.