God can use broken instruments to make incomparable music.
-Joni Eareckson Tada
Are You Broken?
All of us are, in one way or another. For some of us, physical disability or devastating illness has ravaged our lives. For many, the emotional pain of secret wounds and failures have become unbearable. Some of us are whole people trapped within the physical shells of our flesh. Others are the walking dead, shattered souls inhabiting functional bodies.
If we are all broken, how then shall we live? How do we serve Christ from the place of woundedness in which we dwell?
In her book A Healing Place, quadriplegic artist and disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada tells the story of famed violinist Yitzhak Perlman, disabled at a young age by polio. At a concert in 1995, he made his usual painstaking entrance onto the stage with the help of crutches and braces. During the performance a string suddenly broke on his violin.
An awkward silence fell over the hall. He could not simply walk off the stage for a few moments and replace the violin string. He had no spare violin at hand. He stopped, closed his eyes, and thought a moment. Then he motioned for the conductor to begin again.
The virtuoso played the entire piece minus one string. He masterfully rewrote the piece as he went, innovating with the strings he had to coax new sounds from his disabled violin.
The performance was incredible. When it ended, the awestruck audience erupted into applause.
Mr. Perlman answered their appreciation with these words: “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”
Ever feel you are beyond repair?
Has life beaten you up, thrown you down, and threatened to steal away the song God put in your heart? Have the circumstances in which you exist convinced you that you have nothing to offer your Savior?
It’s no problem for God. He’s a creative genius. He knows exactly how to take what’s left of our lives and use them to display His incomparable song of grace. In fact, the greatness of His power is magnified when played out on broken instruments. There’s no danger someone will think we made the music ourselves, no doubt the Master is in the hall.
All He asks is for us to offer ourselves and get prepared to be awestruck. The song of praise that results will be incomparable.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
so that the surpassing greatness of the power
will be of God and not from ourselves.
-2 Corinthians 4:7