Monday, August 30, 2010

The Touch of the Masters Hand

(Originally posted in my old art blog...but worth a post here, even without any art)
Sunday always has good experiences and stories for me...good lessons of life if nothing else. Today in church, one of the speakers (who amazingly also teaches my son in first grade) quoted the words below.

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile: "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He's "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

What more can I say? As an artist, I think of how my skill is like an old violin sometimes...and I wonder what my artistic ability is worth. I ponder my worth on more personal levels too...and wonder if I have too often heeded the thoughtless crowd. How important it is to learn of our worth as the Master knows it, and to never auction ourselves cheap...though battered, scarred, covered in dust, and out of tune, how great our worth in the Masters hands!
May we all look to Him...and let all other opinions wash away...even if necessary, our own.  Happy Sabbath.

(Quoted from talk given by Pres. Boyd K. Packer

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