Over the next two months prior to Easter, reflections will be shared from Regional Executives from American Baptist regions through the 2017 season of Lent. For the third Sunday of Lent, a reflection is provided by Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky. Click here to view the reflection posted for Ash Wednesday. Click here to view the reflection posted for the first Sunday of Lent. Click here to view the reflection posted for the second Sunday of Lent.
My early attempts learning to play the violin as a young elementary school student were probably what you would expect – a lot of sawing and squawking across the strings; a real desire to play something recognizable; and a general unwillingness to dedicate myself to practice enough to make that happen.
One had to learn the fundamentals – positioning and holding the instrument correctly, holding the bow while learning to draw it musically across the strings, not to mention the challenge of reading music for the first time. I was an impatient violin student as I was required to play millions of whole, half, and quarter notes, all on open strings, for months on end. Sooner than I had imagined possible, however, I progressed to fingering and positions I, II, III, and IV, beyond. The music flowed through the years from “Twinkle, Twinkle” to sonatas and concertos in ways that I barely remember.
Perhaps the most difficult lesson of all was learning to tune the violin, beginning with the “A” string. To hear that clear tone, often from a piano, and then to tune the instrument to match it flawlessly, was imperative. No matter the skill of the violinist, an out of tune instrument only produces jarring, discordant notes.
While it is my deep desire to “tune my heart to sing [God’s] grace,” Lent invites me into a season of deeper preparation and practice as I revisit the biblical accounts of Jesus’ journey to the cross, the tomb, and beyond, to the resurrection. My prayer is that the dissonant habits of my heart will, with continual practice, emerge into a clear and authentic symphony of God’s love and grace.
Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford
Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky