Monday, May 07, 2007

beauty unnoticed

Yesterday at church, someone mentioned a story about world reknowned violinist Joshua Bell. It intrigued me so I found the article online at the Washington Post website. Click here to read the article. It is well written and I'll think you'll enjoy reading the entire thing. There are even video clips of the experiment.

But here is a summary of what happened:

"Joshua Bell emerged from the Metro and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript—a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play.

For the next 45 minutes, in the D.C. Metro on January 12, 2007, Bell played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, most hardly taking notice. If they would have, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. They also may have noted the violin he played—a rare Stradivari worth over $3 million. It was all part of a project arranged by The Washington Post—"an experiment in context, perception, and priorities—as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste. In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"

Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell garnered about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation."

Of the hundreds of people who walked by him, only a few even stopped to take note. Everyone rushed past with cell phone in hand, not realizing that just a few feet away is a genius at work.


Well, I think the article (click here if you still haven't read it) does a pretty good job of making the point. There is beauty all around us, and we so often pass it by.

I especially think of this truth in it's application to the church. We have people all around us with phenomenal potential and talents, and yet we look right past them because they don't fit our stereotypes.

Often the greatest Kingdom Impact will come from the most unlikely source. Don't look past someone, simply because they don't look like you think they should. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of God's design in each person's unique character.

And also...keep playing the "Stradivarious" God has given you. Maybe no one seems to appreciate the song God has placed in your heart. So what? Keep on singing, even if nobody notices.