For a fleeting moment, I was moved to tears this morning.  It started with a tightness in my throat causing me to cough and swallow and then a slow trickle of salty liquid running down my cheeks. I was watching Japanese concert violinist, Taro Hakase, being interviewed on our BBC breakfast show along with his wife.  Taro was giving his response to the tragic events that have unfolded in his homeland. 

Hearing the news last week he immediately set about arranging a series of impromptu benefit concerts around London at venues such as Fortnum and Mason.  In addition he went busking on the streets to raise money and awareness for the people of Japan. 

The tearjerker for me was when he played, live in the studio, a piece that had become the theme-tune for the counterpart breakfast show in Japan.  Owing to the recent situation the show has been cancelled indefinitely and obviously the music no longer played, but here was Taro presenting the daily sound track for the ordinary people of Japan in a very stirring way.  It was haunting and beautiful.  I was choked, but for a Japanese citizen who would have instantly recognised the melody… my goodness!

I guess no words can explain away the sorrow and bewilderment we have all felt over the last few days as we have watched our TV screens and viewed the poignant and graphic images before us.  There is an element of mystery that faith calls us to embrace as creation seeks to work out the consequences of ‘the fall’ and ‘groans, as in the pains of childbirth’ towards the culmination of all things.  As the philosopher Kierkegaard said, ‘life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved’.

This morning Taro, through his musicianship, transcended the necessary showbiz and newsgathering element of the TV breakfast format and took me to a place of connection with my fellow human beings, all made in the image of God, in Japan.