There is a vast difference between happiness and peacefulness. You and I have both known folks who are going through pain, suffering and loss, yet they remain peaceful.
Many, many times the best things come in the repulsive packages. We see someone go through a horrible incident and the thought, "surely this will destroy them" comes to mind. Then as time passes and the trial is gone, a sweetness remains. Many times a "blessedness" comes to a person while they are in the midst of it all.
Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and as they ended their applause he made the discovery that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one.
He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that someone had stolen his and left that old secondhand one in its place. He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that music is not in the instrument, but in the soul." And he played as he had never played before. Out of that secondhand instrument the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm. The applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building because the man had revealed to them that the music was not in the instrument but in his own soul.
Many times it is our mission to walk out on the stage of this world and show forth that the music is not in conditions, things, or anything external, but the music of life comes from our soul. God loves showing his strength through our weakness.
"If peace be in the heart,
"The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
"The midnight flash but shows the path of duty,
"Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
"The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
"If peace be in the heart."
- Charles Francis Richardson
Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is the grief counselor and bereavement coordinator of Mountain Hospice. email@example.com or 304-823-3922, ext. 136.