Music in Rome Airport

Pianist - 1

In 2007, the world-class violinist Joshua Bell, played for tips in a Washington, D.C. subway during the rush hour. He was curious if anyone would notice the quality of his performance. People walked by him, rushing off to their destinations.

In 2014, he showed up at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station with young musicians, this time, to a packed crowd awaiting the performance. No rushing this time.

History, art, religion, and music permeate the Italian atmosphere–ready to delight those who will stop to notice. Recently, Keith and I were waiting at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy to return home.

I noticed a beautiful grand piano roped off on three sides in the middle of the terminal. A young man was sitting close by focused on his cell phone.

A woman noticed the piano and sat down. She began playing a classical piece from memory. For about 20 minutes, I watched the man focused on his cell phone. I watched travelers talk, look around, and rush past the pianist. I watched the group I was with continue to talk, laugh, and text.

I watched this young woman completely absorbed in her music.

I listened. I shared her creation with her. I enjoyed.

She ended elegantly. I walked over to her and clapped. I thought someone else would join me in clapping. No one joined me. She looked up, smiled, stood, fingers still on the piano keys, and smiled again. I clapped again. She took a few steps, turned and smiled again. I continued to clap.

In the to-and-fro of this busy international airport, the two of us shared the joy of her music and the exchange of smiles that summed up the delight of shared moments.

Ears to hear

Repeatedly, Jesus urged His followers to hear Him, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Vine’s Dictionary indicates that the word for “ear,” οὖς, means the “faculty of perceiving with the mind … understanding and knowing.”

His followers were listening to Him. But Jesus was asking them to stop and really listen to Him, to absorb His truth, and to follow His instruction.

T.S. Eliot wrote about experiencing a moment but missing the meaning. He wrote about the music hanging silently in the air.

God has instructed His children to meditate upon His Word, His precepts, His works. That takes time.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands. Psalm 143:5

What if we were to stop when we see the heavens declaring the glory of God and meditate on God’s artistry?

What if we were to stop and meditate on one verse of Scripture throughout the day?

What if we were to stop and admire a painting or a melody, and really ponder its meaning, absorb its beauty?

What if we were to stop and really listen to another person?

What if …

My prayer

Father, make me sensitive to the moments when I need to stop rushing and absorb the meaning of a moment. Creator of the Universe, You have created a world filled with beauty, and it all points to Your magnificent glory. Stop me in my tracks and show me Your glory. I love You, LORD!

What’s your prayer?

Meditating on God’s Word – As Important to Us as to Joshua

rocking chair“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

After Moses died, God gave the Israelites time to mourn in the wilderness, then He said to Joshua,

“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. … Only be strong and very courageous; …This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:2-9

By meditating on the Law, the Word of God, and obeying all that is written in it, Joshua was promised success. If we were to read the complete story of Joshua, we would see that he had success when he obeyed God. Sometimes, he did not go to the Lord for direction, and he failed. Even with that very clear direction from God, Joshua was unable to obey completely.

That’s why we need Jesus. He was the only perfect man, the one and only man who kept the Law in its entirety. He was the only man who was qualified to take our sins upon Him and pay the price of that sin–death on the cross. Because He became sin and hung on that cross for us, we can look to the cross, and cling to Him for forgiveness of our sins, past, present, and future. God looks at us through the blood of the cross and finds us clean, calling us His sons and daughters. As sons and daughters, we are heirs to the kingdom of God and eternal life with Jesus.

This gift is free, and yet, it costs us everything. When we unwrap the gift, we unwrap our lives and bare ourselves to Jesus. He becomes Lord of our lives and gently transforms us into the people He intended us to become from the foundation of the world.

Our responsibility? To surrender our lives to Him, to learn of Him, and to abide in Him.

The Bible contains His love letter to His followers. Through His Word, we learn how much He loves us, and we gain practical insight in sojourning through this world.

What we learn is that meditating on His Word is as important today as it was in Joshua’s day.

Jesus prayed to the Father:

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

If God’s Word is truth and we are sanctified (purified and consecrated to God) by truth, we must study this Living Word that is

“sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Paul writes:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8

My prayer for you:

Abba, Father, You dwell in all the universe, for You are its Creator. In You we live and move and have our being. In You, we find truth, salvation, and all that is pure and holy. Grant us, dear Father, the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we meditate on Your Word, Your truth, Your holiness. We are so amazed at Your love. Thank You, Father.