Identity and Purpose

A violin is a violin. It has a neck, a body, and a bridge. Strings pulled tightly by hardware designed to tighten- holding itself together with that fine tension. It is made carefully and precisely- delicately and beautifully. A violin’s very nature defines it as itself. It doesn’t have to think to know it’s a violin. That’s not the important question. In this case it’s not even a question.

A violin is a violin. A beautiful thing that you can set above your mantelpiece and admire from your chair in the room. Wrapped in bright enamel and a deep patina- showing its beauty and age to all around. Is the purpose of the violin to be looked at? I can tell you that it is not. Does the violin know that it can be played? That those tensed strings can be harnessed with horse-hair bow, bending the air around it in harmony? A violin doesn’t know anything. A violin is a violin. That’s not an important question. In this case it’s not even a question.

A violin is a violin. It’s there on the mantelpiece until the Master pulls it off the shelf. He tightens his bow and applies his rosin. He tunes his strings, fiddling with the knobs and screws. He sits in his chair and brings his chest up and his chin down, holding the violin firmly between shoulder and cheek. He brings the tip of his bow to rest on the strings. He closes his eyes. He plays.

Who am I? What is my purpose? I am me. My purpose is to be me. But the beauty of my life is not that I am me. Its not that I can be me. The beauty comes from being in the hands of my father. My father who knows me. My father who brings forth life out of me and pours me out into the world. My father who loves me.

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