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 had paid attention, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. They also might have noted the violin he played—a rare Stradivarius 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?"
(See the video of this “experiment” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw)
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.
I admit that I would not have recognized Joshua Bell. I am not “up to speed” on the greatest violinists of our time. This incident is a powerful reminder of our Savior’s approach to impact (let’s be realistic here...to save souls!) lives.
Christ Jesus was “in very nature God, (but) did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…(he) made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:6,7) Of this human likeness, Isaiah wrote, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (53:2b). Jesus himself said that he “came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
You and I do not seek attention for ourselves. We seek to point people to the Savior. If we are noticed for our gifts, achievements, status, possession (all of which come from God!), then we double our efforts to give God the glory and credit. And we humbly seek to reach people with the most precious possession of all – life with Jesus now and forever.
It’s OK to be unnoticed, especially when we can impact others with the Savior and his Word!
To God alone be the glory!
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand