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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Like a Violin With Only One String Left

"God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty."

(1 Corinthians 1:27b NKJV)

Crossing the pages of Scripture, we meet men and women, young and old, stutterers, illiterates, street people or little people whom the wise hand of God has pushed along His high paths, making them examples of faith and / or tools for transcribing His words. Reading their stories we are fascinated, captured, and sometimes we think we are not on the same level, ignoring their origin. We are misled by the final result, produced by divine direction and never by human capacity. Let us not forget that He remains the One who "has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NKJV). In this perspective I would like to encourage you through a story.

At the turn of the 1800s, many people flocked to European theaters from all over to listen to music and attend the performances of an eclectic Italian violinist. One evening, in an auditorium filled with admirers captured by his notes, the unimaginable happened. While the music hovered in the air enveloping musicians and spectators, suddenly a strange sound interrupts the ecstasy of the audience: one of the violin strings gives way under the incessant touches. The conductor and the orchestra stop, the audience is astonished, but the violinist continues to look at the score and pull enchanting sounds out of his instrument, as if nothing had happened. He starts playing again, when another strange noise causes the attention to collapse: another violin string has broken. Again the conductor first and the orchestra afterwards stop, but the musician continues to perform symphonies with two of the four strings. With a minimized instrument he continues to extract impossible melodies. In general amazement, the conductor and the orchestra resume playing. But no one imagined what would happen: the third string of the violin also breaks. We are at the prologue. Everyone is frozen, except the violinist who, like a contortionist, manages to vibrate the only surviving string of his violin. In the general euphoria, a voice is heard: "Paganini with a single chord".

The story of this brilliant violinist, who owed his talent in part to a rare disease that alters the connective tissue and compromises various organ systems including the skeleton, speaks to us of those who continue to move forward even in the face of the impossible. He had to fight with various diseases of his time, whose remedies practiced had further made him ugly in appearance. Example of those who do not give up on the first problem, nor on the second, nor much more on the third, but he stubbornly continues on his way. He does not allow himself to be influenced, let alone restrained. His tenacity teaches that he has never lost everything. Whatever the problem you are facing, whether it affects your esteem or touches the material aspect of your existence, there is still a chord, because the Lord will always leave you one to start over or continue with. Paganini had in his hands a violin with three dangling strings, yet he relied on the one still in place. The most important decision to make every day concerns our attitude: it is that rope that can allow us to continue or make us paralyzed in the difficulties of life. In whatever situation we may come to find ourselves, let us learn to always rejoice in the Lord, appreciating what we have rather than depressing ourselves for what may be missing from one moment to the next (Philippians 4:4).

I could encourage you to never give up, to leverage perseverance, to "try it again", motivating the "Paganini" in you, because victory is the will to continue where others prefer to stop. Then I should remind you that if everything seems to collapse around you, he looks up and continues to go on, playing the string that is left under your fingers. However, I prefer that you consider your life as the violin in the wise hands of Paganini, and let your good God take on the role of the musician. Do not allow anyone else to handle or manipulate you. Even if your life could fall apart in his hands, he remains the only one able to bring out a celestial melody from you. He will never break all your cords, for he does not crush the broken reed and extinguish the smoking wick (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20). His sweet hands will somehow get the best out of you. Remember that He does not need four fully functional strings. So you could also be picked up in disastrous conditions, He is looking for nothing but a violin that is docilely allowed to be played.


Weekly Bible Reading

Plan # 31

July 25, Psalms 37-39; Acts 26

July 26, Psalms 40-42; Acts 27:1-26

July 27, Psalms 43-45; Acts 27:27-44

July 28, Psalms 46-48; Acts 28

July 29, Psalms 49-50; Romans 1

July 30, Psalms 51-53; Romans 2

July 31, Psalms 54-56; Romans 3

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