FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - A Texas man had a simple task -- to retrieve his children's stuffed animals from his flood water-filled home, the Star-Telegram reported. But a slight detour in his task is now inspiring those on social media.
Aric Harding posted video taken of him sitting down at his family’s piano and playing a simple song in the days after Hurricane Harvey.
He posted the video on Instagram.
I went back to our street today because as you guys have probably seen the water has come back with a vengeance. I hope this was its high point. I grabbed the kids' favorite stuffed animals that we had left behind and a couple of games to keep the kids occupied. I think it's all finally sinking in a little. What we used to have going as a city is gone. I really think God is going to do something completely new here. I am excited to see the new beauty in the suffering. Our pastor @bruce_wesley reminded us of that truth from Romans 8 this morning on his Facebook Live broadcast. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:18-28 ESV
In the post, he said that reality has sunk in and that he is “excited to see the new beauty in the suffering,” and quoting Romans 8:18-28 ESV. It was a message he said he received from his pastor in the aftermath of the storm.
The video circulated on social media, eventually reaching Grammy-nominated singer Vanessa Carlton, who then asked how she could get the family a new piano.
Harding said the family had to get rid of the old piano -- with its rusty strings and broken bass board -- after it was destroyed in the floodwaters.
"She [Carlton] literally just calls me one morning like, 'Hey, this is Vanessa,'" Harding told KTRK. "To have that kind of generosity, you know, to come about, that's just one piece of the generosity that has happened not only for us but for other people in this area."
Harding, a father of seven, received the new piano Saturday. Having a piano back in the house was a big deal, especially for his son Rylor, who is back practicing, Harding said.
"Just being blessed to even have the chance to own one of these is amazing," Rylor said.
Others have also donated pianos to the family, so Harding and his father plan to get them to residents who lost theirs in the area, as well as piano students.
Nearly four months later, the Hardings are finishing up the rebuilding of their home. Harding said the process is a difficult one but his church and neighbors continue to help them.
Even though there is still so much to do on the house, Harding said, the piano's arrival brought a "sense of completion."
"It's a little piece of normal coming back," he added. "Hopefully, we can keep passing this forward a little bit," he said.
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