Beauty for Ashes

To comfort all who mourn . . . to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
Isaiah 61:2–3 HCSB


Over 20 years ago, during the bombing of Sarajevo, cellist Vedran Smailović reacted in a memorable way. He played Adagio in G Minor (supposedly composed by Tomaso Albinoni) on his cello amid the rubble of various bombed buildings. Despite the danger, Smailović, in formal attire, provided beauty in defiance of the ugliness and hope for those who despaired. Beauty for ashes.

I sense the call to do likewise. Do you? What will you do to provide beauty, even a tiny bit of it, to a world as thirsty for it as a plant thirsts for water?

While you think about that, you can listen to internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing The Cellist of Sarajevo, a lament composed by David Wilde in honor of Smailović, who had become known throughout the world as the Cellist of Sarajevo. If for some reason, the video below doesn’t play, you can find it here. Please note that the music takes awhile to start.

Smailović photo from Wikipedia. Video uploaded to Youtube by MB7classical.