I have always felt a bit sorry for accompanists. You see some famous entertainer on television or whatever, singing a “solo.” But there are two people on stage — the singer, plus a piano player, or violinist, or accordion player. (Bad luck with the last one there.) They both give it their all, and the crowd goes wild for the singer. They buy shirts with the singer’s image. And the accompanist is expected to be satisfied with a wave of the hand at the end of the song, and perhaps — perhaps — having his or her name mentioned.
But the accompanist doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she (I suddenly decided she’s female to save on the extra typing, and then suddenly realized how much more typing I am doing explaining myself — oops) — anyway, she often applauds the singer along with everyone else. Her role is to make the singer sound good. That’s it. So when the singer is acknowledged, the accompanist is as well, in an understate sort of way.
I’ve always been a bit of an attention hog, I guess. I never had the confidence to perform much, but I always wanted to. Hence my compassion for accompanists, I suppose — the ones who will never get what I wanted. But I’m mostly over the ego thing now. You get to know your shortcomings pretty well over 50 years. Now I absolutely get the appeal of being a small part of something big — not for selfish glory, but just for the feeling of participation.
That’s the feeling I get from Ezra’s prayer in Ezra 9:8. To be allowed to have “a peg in His holy place” doesn’t sound like much. It isn’t much. But when we realize how low we had sunk, and how privileged we are to be a part of God’s work in the world through Jesus, it’s everything we could want. We can just work our fingers to the bone for Him, and then sit back and help everyone give Him the glory. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that performance?