This morning, I had the rare opportunity to hear beautiful music played on a 17th century violin that once belonged to Nicolo Amati. If you don't have any idea who Nicolo Amati is, don't worry. You're in good company. I didn't know either until the violinist told us. Nicolo Amati was the mentor of Antonio Stradivari. Does that name sound a little more familiar? If not, here's a little clip from Wikipedia:
The name Stradivarius is associated with violins built by members of the Stradivari family, particularly Antonio Stradivari. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or reproduce, though this belief is controversial. The name "Stradivarius" has become a superlative often associated with excellence; to be called "the Stradivari" of any field is to be deemed the finest there is. The fame of Stradivarius instruments is widespread, appearing in numerous works of fiction.
A member of the audience asked the violinist how much the violin was worth. She basically said that it's worth several houses. Strativarius instruments have sold for millions of dollars, so I can only imagine what an instrument built and owned by Stradivari's mentor would cost. But I do know that the music played on it this morning was priceless.
As I drove home, I imagined what it will be like when I reach Heaven. The Lamb's Book of Life will be opened, and my name will be read. The throng gathered around will say, "Who?" Then my Father will speak. "Dana Rongione is my child. I sent my Son to die for her. She may not be famous, and she may not always do right, but in my eyes, she's priceless."
Isn't it good to have Friends in high places?