Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bearing a Faithful Witness

Dr George Buttrick told of an experience while attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He watched carefully the man with the triangle who was required by the music to sound only one note.

Minutes before that note he stood poised and ready to strike the triangle with his hammer. When the note was sounded it was hardly noticed by the audience but it certainly was noticed by the conductor.

The musician could have brought attention to his own importance. He might have struck the triangle too forcefully; he could have ‘come in’ too early or too late; he could have taken the bow at the end of the performance rather than the conductor.

He did none of these because his purpose was to bear witness and draw attention to the music and serve the conductor, not himself.

Source: Told by Dr John Claypool in a sermon entitled ‘Quo Vadis’, 4/2/1962.

Image: Triangle player seeking some prominence.