The artist’s task

Life can throw us many curve balls, as they say.  Some are big and some are small, but all are important in the formation of how we handle life.  Sydney Eddison recounts (in Gardening for a Lifetime) a story “of the violinist Itzhak Perlman, who as a boy was struck with polio and who as a man must walk with the aid of leg braces and crutches.

At a concert on the night of November 18, 1995, at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, one of the strings of his violin suddenly snapped during the performance.  Stunned, the audience held their collective breath, expecting Perlman to stop and leave the stage.  Instead, he paused, then continued playing–adjusting, creating, compensating as he went along, and when he put down his bow at the end of the concert, a mighty roar of applause filled the hall.  When it had died down, he spoke to the audience: “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

Listen to him playing the theme from Schindler’s List.  Our lives can also sound as beautiful if we continue to respond as best we can in God’s grace to all that life brings us.

One thought on “The artist’s task

  1. This story reminds me of Cardinal Van Thuan at a time when he was in prison and felt so distraught at not being able to serve his people, to be a pastor, to fulfill his responsibilities as bishop of his diocese. The Lord reminded him, “You can still love.” With that he decided he would somehow love whoever came into his life, in his prison cell and in the many years he spent in solitary confinement. His guards were so affected that the prison warden was constantly changing them to lesson Van Thuan’s influence in their lives.

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