Stop and listen

violinAt the ministry where I work, one of our leaders talked last week about quieting ourselves so we can hear God’s voice – and how quieting ourselves is so rare in our culture today. It made me think of Gene Weingarten’s 2007 Washington Post story. The Post sent world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell into a DC subway station to act as a street musician — and to see how many people would stop to listen.

The result was one of the best things I’ve ever read. It never directly mentions God, but God speaks loudly through this story. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. I go back and read it at least once a year because it refreshes my soul.

Here’s the story.

As you read it, notice how deftly it moves between dialogue, scenes and background. You learn a lot by reading this story, but it’s all within a narrative that keeps things moving quickly. Notice the pacing – especially how the quotes from passersby are done in short sentences and paragraphs.

And then, just enjoy the piece as a reader and listen for what God might be saying to you.

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Here’s a longer piece I wrote about this story in 2010. And here’s a follow-up story from the Post. Bell played another concert in a subway station last fall — not so secretly this time — and things looked quite different.

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