The Son and the Painting
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Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who,
with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they
traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their
collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned
the walls of the family estate. The widowed, elder man looked on with
satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's
trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they
dealt with art collectors around the world.
As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve
his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His
beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more
news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were
confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic.
Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with
anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, a season that he and his son had so
looked forward to, would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he
walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that
his son was not coming home. As he opened the door,he was greeted by a soldier
with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I
was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come
in for a few moments? I have something to show you."
As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told
everyone of his, not to mention his father's, love of fine art. "I'm an artist,"
said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man unwrapped the
package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the
world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the
young man's face in striking detail.
Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the
picture above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed,
the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the
fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. Then, the man sat in
his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.
During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his
son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had
touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers
before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry
continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief.
The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing
any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told
his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was
in anticipation! Unmindful of the story of the man's only son, but in his honor;
those paintings would be sold at an auction.
According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on
Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift. The day soon arrived
and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's
most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would
be achieved as many would claim "I have the greatest collection." The auction
began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of
the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent.
"Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed. No one spoke.
From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a
picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff." More voices
echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one first," replied the
auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the
painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it." I have ten
dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the
auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell. Cheers filled
the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and bid on these
treasures!" The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was
Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you
mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son. What
about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I
demand that you explain what's going on here!" The auctioneer replied, "It's
very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son ... gets
Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Just as those art collectors
discovered on that Christmas day, the message is still the same-the love of a
Father, a Father whose greatest joy came from His Son who went away and gave His
life rescuing others. And because of that Father's love, wow gold kaufenwhoever
takes the Son gets it all.
By Author unknown