The Praying Hands
It was about 1490 that 19 year-old Albrecht Durer and another young man slightly older served as apprentices in a wood carving establishment in Nuremberg, Germany. Both men came from homes of poverty, so they shared a room to save expenses as they pursued their common ambition to become a master artist. Frustrated by their lack of money, they hit on a plan ---- one would study while the other worked supported both of them, then the other would study while the first worked. Each was willing to yield first benefits to the other, so they finally tossed a coin, and the decision was made that Durer would go to first. Durer left Nuremberg and went to Vienna to study under the greatest painter of his time. The other young man went to work, first, in a restaurant and then in a blacksmith shop. No toil was too menial or hard because he was helping his friend to receive the training. He, himself, also desired and looked forward too. Durer returned to Nuremberg with a large sum of money from the sale of one painting. Now he would do for his friend what his friend had done for him. Arriving unannounced and unexpected at the room of his friend, Durer recognized the voice of his friend in prayer, with his hands uplifted. Durer stood spellbound gazing intently at those toil worn hands with enlarge joints, twisted fingers, and stiffened muscles. Instantly, Durer realized that the toil worn hands of his friend could never become the hands of a master artist. Durer made a brush drawing of those praying hands, and no doubt, you have seen a copy of his famous work which for nearly 500 year has inspired men and women around the world and told the story of devotion and friendship. Durer’s friend and benefactor, whose faith in God was far stronger than any disappointment in life, took his experience as one of the blessings handed to him from the all-loving Father who knows what is best. He found satisfaction in knowing that he had helped Durer to be what he wanted to...
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