At 7:51am on Friday, January 12th 2007, a man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a baseball cap pulled a violin out of its case. He started busking in the L’Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, USA. He played an assortment of classical pieces over the next 43 minutes.
During that time, 1097 commuters walked past. Seven stopped for a minute; twenty-seven threw some money into the upturned case; 1070 hurried by. The busker made $32.
The busker was Joshua Bell, one of the foremost classical violinists. He was playing some of the finest classical works on a $3.5m Stradivarius violin. Only recently he had sold out in a concert venue with tickets averaging $100.
Someone and something very precious, yet almost everyone hurried by, too busy to stop and engage.
The apparently ordinary, yet almost unimaginably special and precious. Let’s stop and linger and appreciate the baby in the manger. And let’s pray that others won’t hurry by.