In the midst of moving this summer, my violin has slept more often than not. I pick it up to feed my soul in the middle of chaos, and remind myself that I do, in fact, play and love it.
I drove ten hours back to my hometown last week to see my kid brother return from serving as a missionary for the last two years in New Caledonia, and was requested to play my violin. I chose a simple hymn, Come Thou Fount, that has significant and sacred meaning to me. One of those pieces that fills my heart with gratitude and my eyes with tears as I play it.
I arrived to Logan, Utah, after the impossibly long drive (with four children and one puppy), exhausted but filled with the temporary energy that comes when reunited with loved ones. We sat on the front porch catching up when a white SUV came to a fast halt, and out jumped this blonde beauty who was the most welcome sight! We were close childhood friends, partners in crime and all the embarrassing things kids do growing up, and violinists, together. She lives in Virginia now with her family, and I hadn’t seen her in over 15 years. Oh, my heart nearly burst! Our kids made fast friends and immediately began playing night games, while we reminisced and shared joys and tragedies that had come to us. She is a beautiful soul. Someone with deep connection, insight, and hope. I needed to see her, and to me, our “chance” encounter was more a tender mercy of a loving God.
As I have moved again and again with my family, picking up the pieces and diving into new communities, new friends over and over again, I have missed the vein of history that comes with longer connections. Seeing this friend again gave life to that artery of connection I so desperately needed right at this time, fresh on a new move to yet another place.
She asked around for a loaner violin and played Come Thou Fount with me just a few days later, writing her own part to play along with mine. It wasn’t a performance of lights, media and attention, but rather a soul and heart performance that reconnected me with a dear friend, an ever-present God, and my own life again. I will never forget it.