I read the above two words a few years ago at the very end of a book, Citadelle, and they have stuck with me ever since. The author, one of my favorites, is Antoine de St. Exupéry. You may know his most well-known book, The Little Prince. The translation—you’ve no doubt already figured it out—is “Mozart assassinated!” He wasn’t rewriting history or coming up with another conspiracy theory. He was describing an unsettling reality. St. Exupéry was a pilot in the earlier years of aviation and would often fly mail routes between Europe and North Africa. He would, at times, find himself in some of the most desolate and poor areas of desert North Africa. Amidst the crushing poverty and “no-exit” existence that he observed there, he would contemplate the future of the children. He knew that he was in the presence of little human beings whose innate and untapped potential for wonderfully fruitful lives would never be realized; that shuffling around among the dust and dirt-encrusted huts and tents was even a germinal Mozart (or a William Booth, or an Abraham Lincoln, or a…). Their environment would stifle their flowering, would kill them, would assassinate them. They would never be. The world would be deprived of who they could have been and what they could have accomplished.
St. Exupéry’s phrase crystallized for me what we should be about here on planet earth. With “eyes to see,” we have the privilege of finding the little people and the big people of our neighborhoods and of our world, of seeing their God-given potential, and of offering them a way out of the crushing spiritual and soul poverty and “no-exit” existence of the “assassin’s kingdom.” We must look for ways to alleviate the conditions that crush and kill the dreams of those caught in these deserts and show them the way into the transforming and creative freedom found in the gospel and in the Kingdom of Christ. It is in Him that the God-given potential in them can truly come to fruition.
So, we plant the seeds of His Life-giving Word into both hardened hearts as well as into Spirit-prepared & receptive ones. These seeds can germinate, grow and produce the full-orbed expression of the new creation of Christ in each and every one of the “children” here. The rich fruit of beauty, love, joy, peace (shalom), patience, creativity, etc., (the fruit of the Spirit!) will spread into our homes, our churches, our relational networks, our communities and, ultimately, into every nation of the world.
In so doing, yet-to-be-heard “music,” coming from the most barren wastelands – newly impregnated with the Life of the assassin slayer – will echo throughout the universe.
One thought on “Mozart Assassiné!”
Beautifully said – the loss is bigger than we will ever know but the potential is also so much greater. An inspiring word to help us focus on what really matters! Love St Exupery!