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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese stringed instrument’

I must admit I was a little tired as I made my way along the tunnel that stretches for what seems like forever from Broadway in Sydney, under busy George Street and into the very heart of Central Station. And I was a little preoccupied. I had just attended a meeting where I could feel the pain of some of those present as they asked questions of the speaker at the end. My heart went out to these women and men, caught in the dilemma of disagreeing with decisions made by their church hierarchy, yet wanting to maintain unity in the Body of Christ. How was it these things happened, I wondered. And how much were we grieving God in the process?

On top of that, my mind was in a whirl as I remembered all the tasks waiting for me at home, especially in relation to the upcoming release of my new book Soul Friend. I needed to check with some places where I planned to sell my books. I had email lists to sort out before I could share the news of my book release. But above all, I needed to help my daughter set up a new website for me, dedicated to my new book and related topics. We had struck some trouble, firstly in purchasing the domain name we wanted and then in trying to get the site up and running. It was frustrating, to say the least.

It was amazing then that I noticed the busker in the tunnel at all. But soon I realised that, above the noise of a heavy suitcase being wheeled along in front of me and people chattering loudly as they rushed along, I could hear a plaintive melody. I looked across the tunnel and noticed an old, Chinese gentleman, playing a traditional, stringed instrument—possibly an erhu or similar ancient fiddle, with a box-like compartment at one end. I slowed my pace—and then it dawned on me that he was playing the old hymn, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’.

My first thoughts were to wonder what this gentleman’s story was and where he had learnt this hymn. I looked across at him and smiled—and he smiled back. I hesitated, but then decided to continue on. There were so many people rushing by—and I needed to catch my train.

As I walked on, I could still hear that plaintive melody, the words that accompany it echoing in my mind:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit! Oh what needless pain we bear!

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

How much the people at the meeting I attended needed to remember that, I reflected. How much I myself needed to take that message to heart, in the midst of my frustration about websites and launches and the like! Then I remembered some words I had read in Scripture that very morning:

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16b

So I prayed as I walked and as I sat in that train on my way home. I prayed for my friends’ situation and I prayed for my own. And I thought about Jesus, the Friend who died for us and who truly cares.

What a Friend we have in Jesus! May you too experience his peace today as you walk and talk with him.

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