A many-stringed thing! Look, See, Pray

Busker in St Malo, Brittany, playing a key fiddle

I’m one of those people who are quite good at a number of things- but not really expert at them. That’s certainly true musically: having played guitar for years I’m fine if I remember my limitations! I am in awe of the maestros. Dabbling with other instruments has been a permanent fascination: I’ve made nice enough noises on banjo, mandolin, autoharps and a Q-Chord- and utterly horrible sounds when my Dad tried to teach me violin.

I even had a go at a bouzouki and a Vietnamese one-string “thing” I came across in a Brighton music shop.

Listening to this man, a street musician earning a few francs as he played this “key fiddle” was intriguing. 16 strings, and a bow. What??? A nightmare crossbreed between a rebec and a hurdy-gurdy? Whatever next!

Making music has been important to me as a believer. As a youth, I began to work out my faith and my theology through writing songs and in playing for worship. This verse from Isaiah summed up my aspirations: “The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD.Isaiah 38:20 (NIV)

This is a song/prayer I wrote when needing to make a response to God’s claim on my complete self – it may even strike a chord with you.

May my heart, may my mind 
draw close to You, to You ev’ry day.
May my soul, may my life, 
shine with the light of Your love.

Take my heart, take my mind, 
take all the love that I offer You. 
Take my soul, take my life, 
use me to share Jesus' love.

Fill my heart, fill my mind; 
transform my thoughts, and shape my will. 
Fill my soul, fill my life, 
to overflow with Your love.
                           © Richard I Starling, 1992. All rights reserved.

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