It was late September and our family was adjusting to our new financial circumstances. My husband had been laid off work and money was tight. Our future was uncertain and I agonized over which expenses to cut.
Some time before, in anticipation of our daughter joining the school orchestra, we had rented a violin on a monthly payment program. I feared we might need to cut the orchestra program if we couldn't afford rental fees.
One Saturday, as I read the newspaper, my eyes wandered to a garage sale ad listing a child's violin. I hoped to find an instrument inexpensive enough to get through the hard times without renting.
I rushed over only to find a very old instrument in poor condition badly in need of repair. The price was low, but with my limited knowledge, the violin seemed bound for the dump. I drove away feeling very discouraged.
But I couldn't stop thinking about it. Even though it looked pretty bad, it might be worth fixing. I called people I thought could tell me how to judge a quality instrument. After about five unanswered calls, I was on the verge of giving up when the thought struck, "call Brother Jue."
I was hesitant. Arthur Jue was new in the ward. I knew he was an accomplished violinist who was very busy. The thought persisted, so I called. "Where's the yard sale?" he asked, promising to meet in 10 minutes.
He studied the instrument, then began playing a sweet melody on the only string that wasn't broken. Sound from the dilapidated old bow was amazing.
He smiled and said, "If it was me, I'd buy it."
After I paid the $25, he offered to make the repairs. During the next two weeks, he spent many hours repairing the violin, even shining it and lining the case with beautiful blue satin. He researched the instrument and learned that it was a concert quality violin made by hand in Germany or France in the early 1900s, and was worth between $1,000-$3,000.
When he played "I Am a Child of God" to tune it, tears came to my eyes. His labor of love may have seemed a simple thing to him, but it was an answer to prayer at a trying time for our family. He was truly an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Laurel Urquidi, Longmont 3rd Ward, Longmont Colorado Stake.