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And Suddenly It Rains

And Suddenly It Rains

There is a huge open field near to where I live. The vegetation is low...

Can You Hear the Music?

Can You Hear the Music?

Can You Hear the Music? It was rush hour at the metro station L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C.Hundreds of people...

Grateful to be Alive

Grateful to be Alive

Grateful to be Alive Dostoyevsky, the renowned 19th century Russian novelist, thought he would die thirty-two years before...

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And Suddenly It Rains

Hélder Favarin | Thursday, 9 January 2014

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There is a huge open field near to where I live. The vegetation is low and the soil is dry, typical of southern Spain. I like to reflect and pray as I walk by this field. Recently, after breakfast, I looked out the window and noticed that there were clouds in the sky, but the sun was still shining. I decided to leave for a walk. When I was about a mile from home I felt a drop of water falling on me. I did not pay much attention to it and continued at the same pace. Soon there was another small drop of water, and then another, then another! I changed direction and quickened the pace. After a few seconds, the rain was falling heavily and I was running back home. As you can imagine, I got completely soaked. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Boris Pasternak, a Russian poet and winner of a Nobel Prize in literature, affirmed that ‘surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.’[1] Though we all love good surprises, our journeys are marked with surprises we would rather not have received. They break into our lives as uninvited guests. One second you are dry and the next you’re wet. One second you have a job and the next you are unemployed. One second you are healthy and the next you are ill. One second you are beside the person you love, the next they’re no longer around. This is life and we’ve all experienced it. I am constantly impressed with the Bible’s transparency and openness on this subject. Any honest reader would come to the conclusion that it does not offer any guarantee that those who decide to follow God would not suffer, as a result of unexpected changes. Almost half of its largest book, the Psalms, can be described as ...

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Can You Hear the Music?

Hélder Favarin | Thursday, 9 January 2014

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Can You Hear the Music? It was rush hour at the metro station L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C.Hundreds of people were heading to their work on that cold January morning. Suddenly, a man wearing a pair of jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a baseball cap takes a violin out of its case and begins to play. He leaves the case open, in front of him, depending on people’s generosity to receive some money for his performance. He starts with ‘Chaconne’, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach anddescribed as one of the most complicated violin pieces to master. Three minutes went by until the first person briefly stopped to listen. The man played a number of extraordinary classical compositions for approximately 45 minutes. In total, 1097 people walked by him during his performance. Only 6 people stopped to listen for a while and 20 more threw some money in the case, but kept walking. At the end, he had collected US$ 32.17. The violin player was Joshua Bell. Have you heard of him? He is one of the finest musicians in the world and played at the station with a violin worth US$ 3.5 million. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats averaged US$ 100.00. Bell’s ‘concert’ at the metro was actually an experiment conducted by the Washington Post, a respected North-American newspaper, and recorded by a hidden camera.[1] The underlying purpose was to identify whether we appreciate and recognize beauty and talent in an unexpected context.  If you happened to be at the L’Enfant Plaza station on that morning, how do you think you’d have reacted? As I naturally tend to be late for my commitments, I’d probably have walked by! God tends to communicate beauty and splendour through unusual situations and in unexpected contexts. The Bible overflows with narratives of people who ...

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