A most AMAZING plane ride

I read the following story, posted by MasterWorks MasterClass instructor Bev Holloway, just after an extraordinary encounter on a plane ride that we might have missed: 

“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?” [Posted by Knowledge of Today. Full article in the Washington Post.]
Now back to the plane ride: The gentleman sitting next to us told us about his mind-blowing career in the entertainment business. Then he asked us what we did, and when Joyce told him she is a pastor he told us his wife is a Christian, and he loves going to church with her, but he has doubts that creep into his mind. 
I mentioned the reality TV show that concludes on Thursday about a former atheist's life as a Catholic: Minor Revisions with Jennifer Fulwiler. Joyce told him about Mark 9:24 (ESV): "I believe; help my unbelief!" 

He asked if we'd pray with him, so we all three took hands, and prayed on row 36. When we said amen all three of us were crying. Okay, I was sobbing! He said when we prayed he felt something like doubt leave his heart. Then he wanted to pray, and he prayed a beautiful prayer of commitment to the Lord.

We might have hurried past this gorgeous work of Art to get to our books or the movie. Lord, don't let us ever miss a MasterPiece like this!

Our new friend told us that we have to tell this story. So if you'd like to offer a prayer or word of encouragement to him in a comment below, we'll be sure to share it with him. We know he'd be touched.


Anonymous said...

Dear new brother in Christ ~
God also put us in the path of these precious servants, Rich and Joyce, when we were blessed to host them in our home while they were ministering in Shanghai, PRC. Your encounter with them was no accident and our Creator has a purpose for you. Our prayers will include you now, dear one, and connect us even though we have not met, because that's what being part of the body of Christ is. Call on Him to hold you and go before you...He is able and faithful! :) and remember, Easter changed EVERYTHING!!!! In Him, Jane and Mark, Illinois

Rich Swingle said...

Jane and Mark, I'm sending it along to him! So great to reconnect here!