The Exception, Not the Rule

I know a young lady who helps illustrate something about modern Christianity. I won’t divulge her identity except to say she exercised exquisite taste in choosing a spouse.


When she was around fourteen, she began babysitting other people’s, er, little darlings, to earn extra money. She also took the ability she had on the piano and began teaching lessons. She wanted to play the violin, and she worked to save enough to buy a violin and take lessons. When she finished high school, she did not go to the obligatory Bible college, but instead taught piano for several hours a day. She did this to earn enough money, not to buy Francine Rivers books, or to stock up on Chris Tomlin or Casting Crowns CDs, but to afford violin lessons with the concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, who was herself a pupil of Itzhak Perlman.

Taking lessons with a serious musician is no jolly jaunt. To little praise from her unyielding teacher, this young lady spent around four or five hours a day with her neck crooked over her violin. Chiropractors here in Johannesburg are still blessing her violin teacher, and wondering how to break further into the potentially lucrative market of dedicated violinists.

A few weeks ago, I sat next to this young lady as Joshua Bell performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D not fifteen metres away from us. A thing of beauty exquisitely expressed like that left me speechless; I wondered what it was for one who knows something of the skill required to make a violin sing as he did.

She will never be a Joshua Bell – she has taken up higher callings – but she will always be a competent musician. She is so not because she was hit by a lightning bolt of musical skill, or because she possessed the ‘musical gene’. She is proficient on more than one instrument because she poured herself into gaining competence, with her parents’ help and encouragement. All of which leads me to these questions about modern Christianity:

Considering that

– Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-19 make musical worship a requirement for every believer,
– for us to worship meaningfully, we must be competent enough to judge between beautiful and ugly,
– we are responsible to teach our children to worship,

why is this young lady’s story the exception, and not the rule? Tell me about modern Christianity’s loves and desires, if most of our children will pour themselves into sports, computer games, and reading Rivers and Peretti, and will remain musically illiterate? What does the modern church love, if we do not love the commanded means for worship?


2 Responses to “The Exception, Not the Rule”

  1. Giselle Says:

    I happen to know this lady personally, and might I add her motive in all these endeavours was to do all as “Unto the Lord” for the God she so loved. . She also used her finances to pay her way to serve on the foreign mission field where she met the man of God’s choosing. And I would agree she has impeccable taste.

  2. David Says:


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: