At 7:51 AM, January 12, 2007, a young musician took his position against a wall in a Washington DC metro station. He opened a violin case, removed his instrument, and began to play. For forty-three minutes he performed six classical pieces. During that time 1,097 people passed by. In his open case, they tossed a total of $32.17. Only seven people paused longer than sixty seconds—and of the seven, only one recognized the violinist, Joshua Bell.
Three days prior, Bell had filled Boston’s Symphony Hall. But no one expected majesty in such a context. Who had time to notice beauty in the midst of busyness? Most did not. From the perspective of heaven, Jesus was playing the violin.