Are You Bent?
For quite a while, I have been a frustrated violinist. I’ve had problems making
pure, clear notes on my violin. It has been scratchy, at times not playing notes at all.
I’ve replaced strings, used more rosin, then less. I even had my violin bow rehaired
(yes it really is hair from a horse's tail). I reviewed my technique to make sure I was
pulling the bow at the proper angle. Nothing seemed to work. Then I finally looked
closely at my violin bow. They all have a graceful bow from the frog to the tip but mine
had another bend in the wooden bow that went left and right. This warped, bent bow
was keeping the hair of the bow from keeping even pressure on the strings. This was
the true culprit. But how did this bow bend in the wrong direction? The wooden bow is
delicate and its grain is susceptible to bending and twisting with age, humidity, and
temperature. It happens gradually, a fraction at a time. A bent bow makes awful music
and it fails to do what it was designed and intended to do.
“Fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil; They practice ungodliness and
spread terror concerning the Lord.” Isaiah 32:6
Practice helps a violinist maintain and improve their skills. Likewise, continued
practice of things less than our calling as Christians, leads us to be more bent out of
alignment with God and actually be “bent on evil.” We also tend to become crossways
with others. It happens usually in slow increments until what comes out of us is not
melodic and pleasing to God, but scratchy, abrasive, irritating, unpleasant, and even
evil. We fail to be what we were designed to be, the children of God.
I just bought a new violin bow, a carbon fiber stick that won’t be prone to bending
and warping. It is wonderful! The notes are much nicer and melodious (as much as an
amateur violinist can make it). It is a joy to play now.
If we are warped or bent, by grace we can be renewed, realigned, and justified
by faith. It is when we are restored to what we were designed to be that something
beautiful comes out of us. Our works, words, and life are a joy to our Lord and makes
the world a little brighter and better. Beautiful things like “love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control” come out of us (Galatians 5:22). That is beautiful music and sorely needed today.