Henry Feyerabend

The Master Artist

Tucked away in a Scottish highland stands a famous shooting lodge, which was owned by a woman who delighted to gather around her friends prominent in art and literature. One day a guest, carelessly pressing hard on a siphon containing acid, squirted the fluid all over a part of a beautiful wall. The hostess graciously tried to hide the dismay she felt, for the panel was of rare and historic beauty; and she valued it highly. One of the guests who had witnessed the accident knew something of its worth, and of what its loss must mean to his friend, quietly remained behind while the rest of the party went picnicking. Left alone he set to work at once. Hour after hour he patiently and carefully laboured. At length the party returned. The hostess, thinking sadly ofher wall, was about to cross the threshold into the room, when looking up, she suddenly stopped in sheer amazement. Facing her, where the marred scene had once been, was a picture of matchless beauty such as she had never seen. Tall, stately trees, deep-blue skies, fleecy clouds, long green grass shimmering in the summer breeze, curling brooks and wild flowers, tangled shrub and vines were there, and stepping boldly forth from the forest glades stood a magnificent stag.

It was Lanseer the artist who had been at work His master touch had entirely transformed the disfigured and mined wall. His labour of love had made it into a thing of rare beauty. No money could ever purchase the rare old masterpiece. It was beyond money and beyond price.

The acid of sin has utterly and hopelessly mined the beauty of every human life. There is nothing we can do about it. The great Master Artist, the one who whispered to the peerless Landseer the secrets of colour in the green of the grass, the gold of the sunset, and the blue of the sky, waits. He waits anxiously, watchfully, hopefully for an opportunity to blot out every dark, disfiguring stain, for a chance to paint over the worthless canvas of our past a beautiful, rare and priceless masterpiece.

"He Knew I'd Come!"

During the first World War a boy in the Allied Army on the Western Front discovered, when he came back to the lines, that his dearest friend, with whom he had fought side by side, was missing. At once he asked permission to go out into no man's land to look for him. His commanding officer advised against it and said, "It will not be worthwhile. But if you insist, I warn you, you go at your own risk. It will cost you your life."

The soldier went out to seek his friend. He found him badly hurt, and carried him back almost to the safety of the trenches, but there the wounded soldier died In a moment the rescuer himself was mortally wounded and was barely able to crawl back within the lines.

As the officer leaned over the brave lad he said, "I told you you would risk your life in going out there. Was it worthwhile?"

"Yes, sir," replied the dying soldier,"He said he knew I'd come."

A $5,OOO Violin

One of Americas great preachers lived as a Me boy in Atlantic City. He loved music, and one day he read in the newspaper that the renowned Italian violinist Viotti was coming to give a concert and would play on a $5,000 violin. (That was a huge sum in those days). This little boy, twelve or thirteen years old, saved his nickels. He ran errands, sold newspapers, begged money from his father and his mother, until finally he had five dollars, the cost of a ticket to hear Viotti play. When the long-awaited night came, his mother helped him get dressed in his best clothes to go to the concert. The lad sat there spellbound as the great violinist came out, put his violin to his chin, and began to play. Wonderful! Every note seemed to melt into every other, and the audience sat enthralled.

Then, after a while, something seemed to go wrong. Viotti appeared to be in a nervous state, and jerked the strings of his violin. Finally he became violent and angry at the violin; he threw it down and smashed it into splinters. The audience gasped in amazement $5,000 violin ruined because of a mans passion! Finally the artist said "Sit down, folks. Sit down! That was not a $5,000.00 violin. I found it right here in your own town and bought it for $ 1.69. You came here to see a $5,000 violin. But that wasn't it. I wanted you to come here to hear a man play. I played on a violin that cost less than two dollars and you sat entranced with my music. I just wanted to show you that it is not the violin, it's the man. Now I will play on the $5,000 violin."

It may seem that your violin, your talent, your life isn't worth much. But that isn't the bottom line. If you will put the violin of your life into the hands of the heavenly Artist, He will bring from it the very music of angels, the harmonies ofheaven.

Saved Twice by the Same Man

One day a wealthy family was invited to spend a weekend at the estate of another titled family. That afternoon a near-tragedy occurred. One of the boys almost drowned in the river.

The other children stood on the bank wringing their hands and screaming. Alex Fleming, the son of the gardener, heard the screams. Diving into the river.he dragged the boy safelyto shore.

That night the gentleman said to Mr. Fleming, "Your boy, Alex, saved my boy s life today. What can I do foryou?"

Mr.Flemingreplied,"Nothing,sir.Myboydidwhatanyboy should do when someone is in trouble."

"Ah," said the gentleman, "but I must do something for that boy. Tell me, what would he really like?"

"Well, sir, ever since that boy could talk he has wanted to be a doctor and help people."

That man grabbed Mr. Fleming's hand and said, "It's a deal!" Alex received the best medical training the British Empire could provide. Years later it was this Dr. Alexander Fleming, along with Dr. Florey that received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the miracle of penicillin.

Near the close ofWorld War II, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met in conference in Teheran. At that meeting Churchill became ill with pneumonia.

The King of England sent Dr. Alexander Fleming to try to save the Prime Minister. And it was Dr. Fleming s knowledge of antibiotics that helped him save the life of Sir Winston Churchill.

Later Churchill electrified the world with this statement: "It isn't often in the life of a man that he has the priceless privilege of thanking the same man twice for saving his life."

Alex had saved little Winnie from drowning. A thankful father had provided the best medical education available for the young hero. Dr. Alexander Fleming who helped to save the life of the great leader, Winston Churchill.

The Power of Example

Adlai Esteb used to tell the story of a member of one of our churches whose husband wasadrunkard. Everynight he would be found down with his cronies drinking. The Christian wife prayed on and hoped on, day after day, week after week, year after year. Yet, her husband continued going from bad to worse.

One night at midnight he was in a bar with his cronies. They started an argument as men often do. Of all things to be arguing about, they were arguing as to who had the best wife. Each man said he had the best, and finally this man spoke up and said, "You fellows don't know what you are talking about. I have the best wife in the world"

They looked at him."Whatdoyou mean?"they asked. I mean what I say. If you don't believe me come over to the house and I will show you."

"But it's after midnight," they objected,"We would't dare to go to your house at this hour!"

"It doesn't matter what time it is. Come over right now and I will showyou."

Those old drunk fellows staggered down the street, got up the steps and went into the house. The man called up with an oath to his wife to come downstairs. She awoke and said,"Just a moment, dear, I will be right down."

While she was getting dressed he called again with another oath. "I told you to come down right away. Now hurry."

"It's all right, dear. I am coming right down," she said. As she came down those men were amazed at the difference from what they had seen in their homes.

The husband said,"We are hungry. We want something to eat now. These are my friends and they are hungry."

She said,"All right. I will be glad to get them something to eat Just sit down in the living room and I will be right in."

She rushed into the kitchen and in a few moments the aroma of food came wafting through. Just as she was bringing in the food she heard the front door close. As she entered, the men had all left. Only herhusbandwas there.

"Why," she said,  'I thought your friends were hungry. Where did they go?"

"Oh, that isn't why we came here,"he replied.

"Well, maybe I misunderstood, dear. I'm sorry. I thought they wanted something to eat"

"That's what I said, but it isn't what I meant. I wanted to show them something."

"Show them what? I don't understand."

So he had to come out with it. "We were arguing about who had the best wife, and I told them that I had the best wife in the world. They would not believe me, but after they came over here they said they didn'tneed any more evidence, and they have gone."Then he looked at her and said, "Dear, how is it that you can be so kind to me when I am so mean to you?"

Now she had her chance. She said, "My dear, Jesus is coming soon and my happiness will begin then. I will never have another headache or another heartache. You are not planning to go to heaven at all, so I knowyour happiness will not last very long. What Me you ever will have will be during your fewyears here; and anything I can do to give you a little bit of happiness I will do now, for I know yours won't last long, but mine will begin and never end."

That man heard those sobering words. He looked full into her face and said,"ff you are going to heaven, I am going there too. I'm going to stop drinking. I will never take another drink"

That man has kept his word. He began studying the Bible and has been baptized. Now he and his wife have a home that is a little bit ofheaven on earth instead of the living hell that it was for so many years.

Henry Feyerabend is the productor and speaker for It's Written in Canada.