I’ve been given an old violin. It’s worn and damaged, but I have a feeling it might produce a beautiful sound if lovingly restored. It had been neglected, but not forgotten, for the lady who gave it to me remembers its better days and wants it to be loved again. I’m actually feeling emotional about this because once it was beautiful and useful… and that encourages me; it is never too late to be restored and made beautiful for purpose again even if we might feel we are a bit dusty and past it!
‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ Ephesians 2:10
This raises the question though – What is MY purpose? What good things did God plan for me to do long ago? That is what I am currently asking God.
The lady who gave it to me said it was her father’s and she remembers the last time she saw it in his hands. He loved it and tried to play it but got frustrated and placed it back in the case with a certain amount of sadness. I don’t know why. Maybe it didn’t respond to his touch. But this resonated with me. Has God needed me for some purpose and found me unresponsive? I know that He loves me for sure but I want to be available and fit for Purpose; I want my life to be lived beautifully for Him and my heart to bring forth a song that pleases His heart. But He knows that and that in itself pleases Him.
‘Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.’ 2 Corinthians 2:15
This verse suggests a very personal link between the creator God and the created. And that our lives lived in harmony with the Holy Spirit become a beautiful fragrance recognised by the Father.
But why am I talking about fragrance when discussing a violin? Should I rather be considering sound?
As a multi-faceted creative I understand that all we ‘see’ with our senses – whether it be sound, aroma, colour, taste or texture – all can be used to raise worship to the King. As this verse suggests, we taste of God’s goodness!
‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!’ Psalm 34:8 and, the Lord becomes my song.
‘The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him… and I will exalt him!’ Exodus 15:2
I sent some images of the old violin to the Luthier who I buy my violins from and his response was,
‘Unfortunately, the violin has very little commercial value. There looks to be some significant damage on the back too!’
My next question was,
‘Does that mean that it won’t sound good?’
The response was, ‘Not necessarily.’
Well, I’m a woman of faith, so I set about putting strings on it, and a bridge of course. It was a bit scary because I wasn’t sure how strong the thing was and as I was gradually tightening the strings there was an almighty BANG…. the strings flew off as the tail loop had snapped! Undaunted, I replaced that and continued. And I played that violin. And I loved that sound. Yes, it needs playing in, but I shall do that will love.
Playing a violin in requires time and dedication. It means working together, learning how the instrument handles; a partnership where one can become one with the instrument. I think this is how we should be with God – so in tune with Him that we flow together.
I again contacted the Luthier to enquire about removing the old Rosen and fitting a decent bridge. I found the cost of cleaning and bridge would exceed £100. So my next consideration was… how much should one invest in a violin with no commercial value? And, what does that actually mean? What gives a violin value? Is it just providence or shouldn’t quality of sound mean something? I ponder on these things before the Lord because I believe He is speaking to me as I work my way through this adventure that is the Old Violin.
So what I am hearing as I push into God is that He loves us regardless of any one else’s valuation. Just like I do this old violin. He really loves us; He created us for purpose and wants to enjoy us. He also knows our worth. It might not be necessarily for everybody to know our worth but we need to understand that He does. We need to get that understanding deep in our hearts.
But, life happens and sometimes we get broken, degraded and deemed worthless. That valuation might simply be in our own eyes. If so, we need to do something about it and start seeing ourselves from God’s perspective as valued and much loved individuals; designed to be loved and enjoyed. That’s what He is saying to me. But I need to listen!
God went to great lengths to restore us back to Him. He did this by sending Jesus. It was through Jesus we have been made acceptable to God. And able to stand boldly and acceptable before Him. (Ephesians 1) – Because of Jesus! When we were far away from Him, He reach down and rescued us. I’m talking about those who He created but do not yet know Him and those who once enjoyed fellowship with the Father but have lost their way or got broken and discouraged. We are all valuable to Him and can be restored and reinstated. And in turn HE sings a song of delight over us!
‘For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.’ Zephaniah 3:17
For those of you who want to hear my violin playing… here is a link!