One of my husband’s very favorite piano pieces is Chopin’s Prelude Opus 28, #15 in D flat major. Whaaaattt ? You don’t know it? It’s not one of your favorites on your Spotify playlist? Hahahaha — just kidding, I don’t expect you to know it. It’s also commonly known as his “Raindrop” prelude. Written somewhere between 1835 and 1839, it is well known—OK, among classical pianists and a few piano students, anyway—for its “repeating A flat, which appears throughout the piece. The A-flat sounds like raindrops to many listeners…”
Throughout a couple of key changes—from the D flat major with its pleasant melodic section …
to a stormy and harsher section C# minor …
and back to D flat…
…that A flat (G#) just continues its relentless, methodic dripping.
On and on and on and on and on.
I used to think of it as a little depressing and so I always wondered why my husband wanted me to play that piece. I mean, I liked it and all, but really? In the back of my mind was the vague memory of my piano teacher telling me about Chopin, and something about water dripping on his heart… And apparently, I didn’t make that up. According to Wikipedia, Chopin’s mistress (George Sand) wrote in her book Histoire de ma vie that Chopin had told her about a dream where he had drowned and heavy drops of ice water were falling on his breast. Most people associate that story with this piece. Depressing, right?
But somewhere over the last few years, the music stopped being so depressing to me and became encouraging instead. Because that incessant, repeated, note? That’s like the note of Jesus Christ throughout our lives, if we’re believers.
Throughout every change in our lives –
the ups, the major keys, the uplifting moments, through the pleasant times, God is there. And through the downs, through the minor keys and the sad, hard times – our God is still there.
Relentlessly pursuing a relationship with us, regardless of what the circumstances of our lives look like.
Whether things are flowing and melodious or stormy and chaotic. That note of Jesus Christ and his grace is pressing in, never going away, persistently present.
- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- He has loved us with an everlasting love and drawn us with unfailing lovingkindness (Jeremiah 31:3).
- When we pass through the waters, he will be with us. When we pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over us (Isaiah 43: 2).
- He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
- He will never leave us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
So here’s my challenge to you.
Next time you hear some piece of music that sounds repetitive, maybe even monotonous? Reflect on God’s ever-present, never-ending love for you. Next time you are tempted to give up because things look rocky all around you and circumstances are hard? Go listen to Chopin’s raindrop prelude and reflect on God’s promise to be with you. On and on and on and on.
Now I get why my husband likes it so much.