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  • Writer's pictureKipper Ackerman

How The Sounds of Grace began: I Am Just the Donkey

Corrie ten Boom, holocaust survivor, was once asked if it was difficult for her to remain humble. She replied, “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments on the road and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of the donkey that any of that was for him?” She continued, “If I can be the donkey on which Jesus Christ rides…I give Him the praise and all the honor.” After years of sharing her story with the world, I am sure that the amount of applause received had to become overwhelming for such a humble individual. However, ten Boom managed to maintain a sense of humility and always remained aware that she was the vessel through which God did His work. She was the donkey!

For performers, life can easily become a stage. There are months and months of preparation, rehearsals, and sacrifice that goes into a single performance. And, man is geared to demand an applause for such work. But, what is the message that we are seeking to deliver to our audience? For decades, I used the stage to receive applause that was taken to glorify my own works. Not just to recognize the hard work in preparing for a production, but actually used to glorify my own ability. For years, the applause that was sought after was for myself and then years later, the applause was sought after for my students. In fact, I can remember sharing with my Sunday school class that we all desired a pat on the back and how frustrated I would become if it was not received. Unfortunately, it took traveling through a very dark and broken time in my own life, to realize that the applause was never mine to keep. I was using the applause to glorify myself and my own ability and strengths instead of returning the applause to glorify the One who gifted me with special talents that entertain so many.

I am living proof that God uses broken vessels. The Sounds of Grace is a testimony that what man intended for evil, God meant for good. For you see, the opportunity for me to play for these patients and students only came after God began to pick up the pieces of my own broken vessel. A vessel that Satan tried to destroy with greed and selfishness. However, the same God who has overcome the world, rescued me from destruction and has begun a new work within me. This redemption road has not been easy, but I know that I do not travel alone and my Savior has a plan for me that is already bringing a tremendous amount of applause. But, this time, the applause is His and I am just the donkey.

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