“Most of us will someday realize we didn’t [notice beauty in the midst of busyness] either. From the perspective of heaven, we’ll look back on those days — those busy, cluttered days — and realize, That was Jesus playing the violin.”- Max Lucado
In Chapter 16 (“That’s Jesus Playing the Fiddle”), the final chapter of Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado tells a story about classical violinist Joshua Bell. On the morning of January 12, 2007, Joshua Bell stood against a wall in a Washington D. C., Metro station. He wore a Washington Nationals cap, long-sleeved shirt, and jeans.
Almost 1100 people passed by during Joshua’s forty-three minute concert. And, people tossed a total of $32.17 into his violin case. Last, of the seven – seven – people who paused longer than a minute, only one recognized Joshua Bell.
Many people advocate for compassion. But, for the Christian, when we love those in need, we show our love for Jesus. It’s a message that Jesus made crystal clear. In addition, it served as the theme of Jesus’ final sermon. In that sermon, Jesus depicted the final judgment scene where He separated the sheep from the goats.
The sheep group constitutes those who fed Jesus when He was hungry, brought Him water when He thirsted, etc. Therefore, the sign of the saved = concern for those in need. However, Max clarifies, compassion doesn’t save us. Salvation is solely the work of Christ. Thus, compassion follows as a consequence of salvation.
In conclusion, Max elaborates on Jesus’ final message:
“Jesus will recount, one by one, all the acts of kindness. . . . Even the small ones. In fact, they all seem small. Giving water. Offering food. Sharing clothing. As Chrysostom pointed out, ‘We don’t hear, I was sick and you healed me, or I was in prison and you liberated me.’ The works of mercy are simple deeds. And yet in these simple deeds, we serve Jesus.”
Today’s question: How often do you find beauty in busyness, notice Jesus playing the violin? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Outlive Your Life