by Steven A. Cramer


I would like to share a story for those among us who feel are struggling with feelings of guilt, discouragement and shame because of the mistakes we have made.

Things that make us feel that our life is broken and ruined, perhaps not even reparable.

May I remind you that all such feelings of hopelessness never come from God or Christ. They come from our enemy, Satan, who hates us and is determined to ruin us.

My story is about a distinguished British concert violinist. His name was Peter Cropper.

In 1981 he was given the dream of a lifetime — the chance to give a concert using a very rare violin made by Antonio Stradivari. This violin was two hundred years and fifty-eight years old. I say it was rare because even though Stradivari made over a thousand violins, there are very few still in existence today.

But what makes these particular violins so precious and valuable is not how rare they are, but the sound they produce. Stradivari handcrafted each violin with over eighty pieces of different kinds of woods and about thirty coats of varnish. His secret process produced an exquisite resonance that has never been duplicated.

So you can see why it was truly the dream of a lifetime for Peter Cropper to have the loan of this rare violin for a concert in Finland.

But tragedy was about to strike.

As Peter entered the stage for his performance, the unthinkable happened. Peter stumbled, fell on the violin, and broke the neck completely off.

Imagine how you would feel to do that to something so rare and precious, even though you didn’t mean to harm it. He was devastated.

I think that perhaps some of us have had similar feelings about our addictions and the way we have broken our personal lives, marriages, and family relationships.

Peter borrowed another violin and somehow managed to complete the concert. But can you imagine his heartache as he reported what he had done to the Royal Academy of Music, who had loaned him the violin?

Just as it breaks our hearts to go back to Heavenly Father in prayer and have to confess that we have broken our promises…again and again.

The Academy was very understanding of the accident and tried to comfort him, but he was inconsolable because of what he had done. Like many of you, who are here tonight because you are not willing to accept broken and ruined lives, Peter made an exhaustive search until he found a craftsman who was willing to attempt a repair.

Finally, when he was informed the repairs were completed, he went to the shop with great trepidation. To his surprise, there was no visible evidence that the violin had ever been damaged, much less broken in half. He couldn’t believe it. It was beautiful.

But the true test would be in the sound. As he drew the bow across the strings, he was amazed to discover that the sound — if anything — was actually more beautiful than it had been before the accident. Once again Peter took that same violin on tour, and night after night, he drew beauty from the violin that he had once thought was ruined forever.

And all this was made possible because he had placed the broken parts in the hands of a master craftsman, a Higher Power, if you will.

You and I have souls that are infinitely more precious than a mere violin. Because we are mortal and fallen, from time to time we are all out of tune. And most of us have scars and scratches. Many of us are deep in addiction, or struggling not to fall back into past addictions.

Many of us have been broken by Satan’s temptations, and persuaded that we are ruined forever and not worth saving. Not even worthy to pray, much less to ask for divine help.

Oh what a liar Satan is.

So in closing, I want to bear my testimony that Heavenly Father knew that all of this would happen as a normal part of our mortal experience.

And because of His infinite love for each of us — and because he knew that spiritual death can never heal itself — that we could never make our own repairs, He has provided Jesus Christ, the Master Craftsman, the "Higher Power" for our bruised and broken lives. A Savior who is yearning to heal our wounds, a Savior who can repair our broken lives beyond all evidence of damage — if only we will let him.

Imagine how He must feel, having this infinite power and willingness to undo our mistakes and breakage, the power to change our hearts and refashion our hearts, feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors into His image.

And then…not be able to do so because we won’t let Him.

I know that He is waiting for you just as He waited for me.

I know that He is anxious and ready, with arms open wide.

I know and testify that nobody is beyond His reach. Nobody is unrepairable.

Will you bring your emptiness and heartache to Him and exchange it for the joy of knowing His love and forgiveness and healing power?

I testify that no matter what failures lie in your past, your future is as spotless as the Prophet’s, and that with Christ’s help, every person here can attain the ultimate Celestial glory which Heavenly Father planned and means for each one of us to have.

Of this I bear solemn witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



2003 Steven A. Cramer
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