Bigger Than Words

     A boy received a gift at an early age.
     It was a very special gift.
     He was taken away from his lessons and brought into the most sacred place
and shown the most secret things. He was not led there by people but by the 
entity which many believe is God.
     Nothing was withheld from his view. Even the most beautiful things and
the most terrible things were revealed to him.
     He saw them and understood.
     Later, when he told people what he had seen, they laughed at him.
     One man said, "That's very interesting, but right now I am going to the 
store to buy some string to hold my pants up."
     Another was completely uninterested. He demanded, "Who are you, that
you would know such things?"
     The boy thought to reply by asking in return, "Who are you that you do not
know them?" But because of what he had seen and understood, he did
     He decided to write about what he knew.
     He studied for years and wrote many great things, but when people read 
what he had written they said he was crazy.
     He took this to mean that he would need something more powerful than
words, if he was to reach people's hearts.
     He decided to become an artist so he could show them what he knew.
     He produced many great pieces which even his worst enemy said were 
beautiful. But he could tell that neither his worst enemy nor his best 
understood them.
     He knew this meant that he needed a way of conveying information more
clearly than pictures, if he was going to move people deeply.
     He thought hard and eventually recognized that he would never be able
to figure out what method he needed to use.
     One day, feeling dejected and looking for something to do, he sat down
at his old piano and started playing it again. He didn't remember it being so
easy. It sounded good to him. And it was fun. So he decided to indulge
himself in the pastime of making music, simply for the sake of the 
pleasure it gave him. He gave up trying to communicate important things
to his fellow human beings.
     He studied hard, became a good musician, and grew to be very happy.
He played for anyone who would listen.
     When he was old, one night on his way to a concert, he remembered his
long-ago journey with God, and he silently asked God to forgive him for 
not telling his fellow humans about the wondrous things he had seen.
     When he finished his prayer he whispered "amen" out loud. And as he
did this, he saw a bus cross an intersection in the distance. On the side of
the bus was a large advertisement for the concert he was going to attend.
The advertisement consisted of enormous words which he was not able to
     The biggest words in the ad were, "Music says all."

by Robert Hampton Burt
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