“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
Hundreds of broken instruments sat in storage in the Philadelphia public schools. Due to tight budgets, the school district couldn’t afford repairs. Broken trumpets, worn-out violins, cellos in multiple pieces, all silently set aside, awaiting rehabilitation. Then a music educator at Temple University, Robert Blackson, received a spark of inspiration. How about a symphony for a broken orchestra!?
On a Sunday evening last December, 400 musicians, students, amateurs, and professionals, gathered to perform a symphony composed especially for them. Instruments that couldn’t be played as designed were repurposed, a trumpet turned into a percussion instrument, a new sound out of a violin with no strings, each one contributing, in its own way to a harmony that resulted in a forty-minute performance to raise funds to sustain the music program in the schools. (Check out the NYT story here).
The church is like a symphony of broken instruments. Each one of us struggles with our own flaws and fears. Yet, at the direction of the Divine Director, we add our own voices to the joyful song of redemption and hope. “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7 NIV).