I jolted upright in my narrow army cot. Were we under attack?
It was 1945 and our squad had made it all the way from France to Regensburg, Germany. I poked my head out of my tent. No German soldiers. Just some guys goofing with a violin, making a terrible racket.
I’d played violin myself as a child, and was well acquainted with the awful noises you could coax out of one if you didn’t know what you were doing. I’d barely gotten past that phase, but I was awake now so why not give it a try?
I approached the would-be violin player. “Could I give it a try?”
“Sure, Deke,” he said.
He handed over the instrument. I tucked it under my chin and grasped the bow with my fingertips like my music teacher had instructed. It was all coming back to me. I played the song that had comforted me since Normandy: “What a friend we have in Jesus…”
The guys weren’t surprised by my choice of song. My nickname in the service was short for “deacon” because I made no secret of my strong faith in God.
And it was because of things like this; somehow, God transformed those few violin lessons I had as a child into a whole concert.
When I finished playing the soldiers were quiet. For at least a moment, in war-torn Germany, the soldiers around me were touched by the old songs, and their promise of a God with an open ear and a forgiving heart.
Author - Howard “Deke” Walton published in Angels On Earth. http://www.guideposts.org/angels/inspiring-story-soldiers-violin-comforting-others-war