Pearls Before Breakfast

I recently read an article from the Washington Post by Gene Wingate that stirred a maelstrom within me prompting these thoughts to come forth. The title of the article is PEARLS BEFORE BREAKFAST and tells of an incident that occurred this summer in Washington DC. The situation had been planned and executed as a stunt perhaps, but nonetheless , as a marvelous example and lesson concerning human nature.

A nondescript young man in t-shirt, jeans and baseball cap is standing on a Metro platform, leaning against the wall. Before him is an open violin case with a few crumpled dollars thrown in. He takes his stand and commences to play his violin as hundreds rush by him on their way to their respective labors of the day, mostly government jobs, the article discloses. Mr. Wingate goes on to describe that though the skillful sounds emanating from the violin were surprisingly very much better than the usual street musician’s, still individual after individual, actually, 1,097 passed by as he played the very difficult classical sounds of Bach’s “Chaconne”. People had a choice to make as they scurried past him. Would they stop to look, and listen or would they unwittingly move on and dismiss him as just another mendicant looking for a handout; like dime a dozen street musicians seen in many DC streets and plazas.
The story goes on to say that in the final, one man, out of all those “over-a-thousand-people that passed by in 45 minutes….one man and then near the ending, one woman recognized the brilliancy of the music that was being played on that platform during rush hour, that morning. For the disguised street musician was none other than Joshua Bell, a premier, award winning concert violinist appearing globally with the great symphonic orchestras of the nations. For all intents and purposes,bothered and no one cared. And really, only two people recognized it.

You know, Christ was like that. The Eternal Son of God walked the streets during rush hour when He was here on earth. Myriads of people passed by Him as He “played” His miraculous songs of Love of the Gospels. As He taught stunningly marvelous truths and did breathtaking miracles. And, for the most part, not many really cared, or bothered to listen and change their lives.

Oh yes, some did. Praise God for those who did. But they failed to recognize the genius of God, the Son…they failed to listen to HIS MUSIC. And just like the modern day Josh Bell Experiment, it is still happening, today. When the WORD is being preached from the PLATFORM, will we stop and listen and move to the sounds we hear from the Word of God?

Oh, Lord, May we stop and listen to the glorious sounds of Your Word, to Your songs and dance to Your Music. May we recognize YOU in our every day rush hour and may we delight in the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, BEFORE BREAKFAST and every moment of our lives.


4 thoughts on “Pearls Before Breakfast”

  1. My son brought this story to my attention some months ago from a magazine article. I so enjoyed it that I posted on our little church’s bulletin board.

    One of my thoughts at the time and still is the Words of Jesus found in Matthew 25:3-40 “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
    37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

    40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[a] you were doing it to me!”

    I am thinking whom do I see and hear when I move around among the great crowds of people I see almost daily.


    Another salient point made in this article, similar to a quote that Sara told us about, to the effect,…you can’t be an author until someone reads your stuff.
    SO, Can music be great if no one listens to it?
    Is a painting a masterpiece if it is kept under wraps and never viewed?
    Can the world be made brighter if you hide your light under a bushel?

  3. Dictionary…Author: a writer of a book, article, or report : he is the author of several books on the subject. • someone who writes books as a profession..

    If no one listens to your music but you than I guess it could be called great by you. I could call my music great but I am sure when it was put to the test by listeners they would have a different opinion.

    I could call my children’s art great and tell them it is great until the end of time but if not a single soul liked it and did something to make it great, not sure it would be great except in Mother’s eyes.

    We can call anything great we want. I think Needles spoke very wisely to this by quoting from God’s word, ‘don’t think more highly of yourself than you should. Be honest in your evaluation…” see Needles comment on ‘a gift from a talent.’

    I don’t know about the world being brighter or not if you hide your light under a bushel. I guess if you shine your light the litmus test would be if others are able to see by it, not if you can see by it.

  4. Regarding Needles comment ’be honest in your evaluation’: Jesus was honest in His evaluation of His gift with the woman at the well (John 4:10). He knew who He was and that He had and was The Gift of Life. He offered it to her though she apparently couldn’t ‘see’ it in Him. Or maybe she assumed the outward package this Gift was wrapped in couldn’t possibly contain such a valuable gift as Eternal Life (the Pearl of Great Price as MG speaks of above.) Whatever the cause, His mercy and love was so great for her that He didn’t brush her aside. He continued to pursue her with His Gift by prophetically revealing to her “all the things that I ever did”. He passed the litmus test that Sara referred to above because she eventually did see by His Light. And when she saw, then she told others and the others believed because of her words. I think Jesus illustrated by this example for us the Matt 25 that Sara writes about above. And when He (Who is the embodiment of all the gifts) left this earth and ascended above Eph 4:8 says He “gave gifts to men”. Gifts for us to use though the recipients of the gifts may not see or receive them at first. Yet as Needles wrote about in ‘Gift From Talent’, when we each put our individual gifts to work together then “Together you can build Christ’s church.”

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