Late one afternoon the composer Beethoven visited a shoemaker. Standing in the shop, waiting to have his shoes mended, Beethoven heard some music being played on a piano in the back room of the shop. Beethoven smiled, knowing that the music was one of his own compositions. “It’s my daughter who’s playing”, said the shoemaker, “but she can’t play very well because she is blind and has to play from memory.”
“May I play the piano for your daughter? I am a musician myself,” asked Beethoven. “Certainly”, said the shoemaker, not knowing who his customer was. Beethoven slowly rehearsed the music with the girl, and they began to practice other pieces he had written (although the girl was not aware that her teacher was, in fact, the composer).
The time went quickly, and Beethoven didn’t realise that hours had passed. Then he noticed the way that the moonlight had begun to stream its gentle light through the window of the room.
Beethoven returned home. He couldn’t get to sleep, but thought of how the girl was disabled by blindness, struggling to do her best, whilst others took sight and talents for granted. He thought of the great joy that music brought her, and he remembered the room in which they had played the music, and the way in which the moonlight streamed through the open window.
He knew that whilst he could see the moonlight, she could not. Beethoven got out of bed and started to play the piano, expressing his feelings through music.
What he produced is thought by many to be one of the most touching pieces of music. In memory of the girl, he called this new piece “The Moonlight Sonata”.
In March 1802, the music of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” was published.
Let us pray:
Lord, you have watched me grow in my mother’s womb, and I know that you love all that you have made.
Help me to transform my difficulties and disabilities into opportunities for growth.
Shine the light of your Spirit on me that I may grow as the person you are calling me to be.
Inspire me to develop the talents
you have given me for the benefit and the service of those people. you have placed in my life.
May each of us become a blessing for others.