Page 6 - Good News November 2012 paper
P. 6

round  the  year  1490,  two   support them both. They agreed        become  stiff  and  twisted.  His
                young  friends,  Albrecht  that when Albrecht was success-           slender,  sensitive  hands  had
          ADürer and Franz Knigstein,          ful, he would support Franz who       been ruined for life! He could no
          were  struggling  young  artists.    would then study art.                 longer execute the delicate brush
          Since both were very poor, they      Albrecht went off to the cities of    strokes  necessary  to  fine  pain-
          worked  to  support  themselves      Europe to study. As the world now     ting.  Though  his  artistic  dreams
          while they studied art.              knows, he not only had talent, but    could  never  be  realized,  he  was
          Work took much of their time and     genius.                               not  embittered,  but  rather
          advancement  was  slow.  Finally     When he had attained success, he      rejoiced in his friend's success.
          they reached an agreement: they      went  back  to  keep  his  bargain    One  day  Dürer  came  upon  his
          would draw lots, and one of them     with  Franz.  But  Albrecht  soon     friend  unexpectedly  and  found
          would  work  to  support  both  of   discovered  the  enormous  price      him  kneeling  with  his  gnarled
          them while the other would study     his friend had paid. For as Franz    hands  intertwined  in  prayer,
          art.  Albrecht  won  and  began  to   performed hard manual labour to      quietly praying for the success of
          study art while Franz laboured to    support his friend, his fingers had   his  friend,  although  he  himself
                                                                                     could  no  longer  be  an  artist.
                                                                                     Albrecht  hurriedly  sketched  the
                                                                                     folded hands of his faithful friend   an eloquent story of love, sacri-
                                                                                     and later completed a truly great    fice, labour and gratitude. And it
                                                                                     masterpiece  known  as  “The  has  reminded  multitudes  the
                                                                                     Praying Hands.”                      world around that they also may
                                                                                     Today,  art  galleries  everywhere   find  comfort,  courage  and
                                                                                     feature  Albrecht  Dürer's  works.   strength  through  the  power  of
                                                                                     But  of  them  all,  none  holds  the   prayer.  [J.  Palmer  Muntz,
                                                                                     place in the hearts of people that   FRIENDSHIP,  Ideals  Publishing
                                                                                     “The Praying Hands” does. It tells   Corp. USA, 1974].

                                                                                             here was an old man who carried a little can of oil with
                                                                                             him everywhere he went. If he passed through a door that
                                                                                       Tsqueaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate
                                                                                       was hard to open, he oiled the latch.
                                                                                       So  he  went  through  life  lubricating  all  the  hard  places  and
                                                                                       making it easier for those who came after him. People called
                                                                                       him eccentric, queer, cranky, odd, and other degrading names.
                                                                                       But the old man went steadily on, refilling his can of oil when it
                                                                                       became empty and oiling the hard places he found. He did not
                                                                                       wait until he found a creaky door or a rusty hinge and then go
                                                                                       home to get his oil; he carried it with him.
                                                                                       There are many lives that creak and grate harshly day by day.
                                                                                       They need lubricating with the oil of kindness, gentleness, or
                                                                                       thoughtfulness.  That  can  of  oil  is  predominantly  one  that
                                                                                       characterizes  the  Christian  religion.  The  task  of  using  it
                                                                                       belongs to those who claim to be Christians.
                                                                                       As the old man kept his oil with him, so we need to keep our
                                                                                       Christian kindness handy. It does no good if left at home or in
                                                                                       the church.
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