On "Pearls Before Breakfast"

What would Washington commuters and visitors do when they heard a world-famous musician playing anonymously in a Metro station?

In a recent article for the Washington Post, Gene Weingarten describes what happens when Joshua Bell, a renowned and gifted violinist, gives a concert in a Washington, D.C., metro station during a weekday morning rush hour.

Street musicians are not uncommon in a Metro station. But it isn't everyday that commuters hear the strains of some of the world's most beautiful music played on a Stradivarius by a famous musician.

Most of the more than 1000 commuters ignored the musician. Only a few commuters stopped to listen for a few minutes. Only one recognized Joshua Bell.


The author made several important points. Here is a sampling:

  • Context matters. People don't always recognize people when they are encountered out of context.
  • Priorities affect experiences. People are too busy and preoccupied to really see and hear brilliance and beauty around them.

Gene Weingarten won a Pulitzer Prize for his article. The entire concert was recorded by a hidden camera and posted to the Washington Post's Web site.


I think we can expect to hear pastors and writers use one or more of the observations made in this article.


For me, Joshua Bell's experience resonates with Jesus' experience of not being recognized as the son of God.


Today, my prayer is for God to open my eyes and ears to the beauty and wonderful things and people around me.


Related Links


Read the article, view the video or listen to the concert

2008 Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winners

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