I never met my great-granddad, but I know his fiddle. I grew up with it sitting on a shelf in our living room. Next to it always hung a picture that told how a master musician could take an old, discarded instrument and make beautiful music. It was a reference to how our broken lives become glorious in God’s hands.

I never met my great-granddad, but I know his fiddle. I grew up with it sitting on a shelf in our living room. Next to it always hung a picture that told how a master musician could take an old, discarded instrument and make beautiful music. It was a reference to how our broken lives become glorious in God’s hands.


I saw that picture a million times, and I can still imagine it if I close my eyes because there’s power in the things we see day after mundane day.


Mama and Daddy downsized, and the large picture is long gone from the living room. But the last time we went home to Oklahoma, we rented a little two-bedroom apartment that was filled with scriptures and quotes about faith.


For 10 days it seemed every room reminded us of God and his faithfulness. And that’s when the idea twirled by like those helicopter leaves that fall from elm trees: Maybe the walls of my home needed to say more about God’s goodness, more about his ability to turn brokenness into wholeness.


I began to search for scriptures that were beautiful in thought and in appearance, and I looked for sayings that offered real insight and value – like the one that hangs on the door to my home office, “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”


I scoured our basement for a chalkboard and chalk, and I wrote in my best left-handed penmanship: “Pray without ceasing.” I propped it up on the empty eyesore that used to be our microwave stand and invited my husband and boys to list prayer requests.


Aunt Heather, who is pregnant, Jessie added.


Kathy’s new job, I wrote. Tanya’s dad, who is waiting on a liver transplant.


Benjamin wanted to pray for all the people who love him, and especially for his cousin JJ, whom he adores.


Next, I think I’ll frame the words from my parents’ picture and arrange it on my mantel in the living room. I’ll put it right next to my great-granddad’s old fiddle, which I inherited. And when it’s time to pass the beloved fiddle on to the next generation, I’ll make sure my boys have the words, too.


Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email markettagregory@yahoo.com or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).