Myra Brooks Welch wrote a poem titled “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”  It told the story of an auction at which there was an ancient violin offered for sale.  The auctioneer didn’t expect much action in the bidding for the violin due to its age and appearance and started the bidding out by suggesting a dollar.  The bidding reached three dollars and was “going once, going twice…” and then things changed. 


From the back of the room came an elderly man who picked up the bow, wiped the dust from the violin and began to play.  A lovely melody came from the old violin that was considered not worth more than three dollars.  After the impromptu concert the bidding continued, beginning with a bid of one thousand dollars!  It finally sold for three thousand dollars.  What made the difference?  It was “The Touch of a Master’s Hand.”  The violinist saw the potential of the instrument and made an investment of his time to bring its loveliness out for others to enjoy.


Whether this is just a tale or a true account, the message says we should be careful to not consider worthless and discard people who cross our paths.  They might appear not worth salvaging, not worth any investment on our part; but God looks at them and sees a different view.  He sees a soul that His Son, Jesus, died for.  Jesus invested everything He had for the seemingly worthless sinner.  Those who cast the lowly one aside will one day be surprised when they look over heaven and run across that one that seemed doomed to hell and not worth saving.


How many folks do we cross paths with each day and don’t give them a second look, except maybe with disdain?  How many do we pass that are carrying an unseen backpack that is close to breaking them?  They pass with a furrowed brow that seems to say “go away” causing us to turn, avoiding contact.


Smiles and cheery greetings are so inexpensive, we should carry a pocketful each day to give away.  They might just make someone’s day and a difference in their life.  What if we don’t have a smile ourselves and feel we can’t give what we don’t have?  Do it anyway!  We would feel better ourselves if we made someone smile back at us. 


This is such a busy world that we live in.  We probably aren’t even aware of our surroundings peopled with those in misery and gloom.  We carry our own burdens in both hands which doesn’t enable us to reach out to a fellow traveler.  The Bible says we should bear one another’s burdens.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

The burden that is breaking another’s back might not even be heavy for us, and the same with ours; someone might lift with ease what is pulling us down to a breaking point.


Paul continues his letter with “For every man shall bear his own burden (Galatians 6:5) which sounds like a contradiction; but it is not.  To “bear ye one another’s burden” is translated from the thought of a burden that would break a donkey’s back.  You know, like the old idiom of the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”  Then the verse that says, “every man shall bear his own burden” is translated from a word that implies an average load that a donkey can easily carry.


We are not to cast a burden that we are meant to carry onto the shoulders of another.  They have their own “average load” to bear; but if the load we carry is breaking our back, then we are instructed to allow someone to help us bear it.  In turn, we are to be sensitive to that one placed in our path who is about to break under their load and give him a lift.


A touch from us is the way the Lord arranged to touch others Himself.  To produce a beautiful symphony, they may only need to be "dusted" like the old violin, have a broken string replaced and tuned up a little.

When someone cares enough to touch us with a loving hand, it is an extension of the Lord’s hand and we should receive it graciously.


Let us be mindful of those around us who need a touch of the Master’s hand and allow our Lord to touch them with our own.  Imagine the results if we all touched each other, helped each other bear our heavy back-breaking loads and shared the blessings we have all received from the bountiful hand of our Master—what a wonderful world this would be!


OK, I am realistic.  We will never be able to make a complete circle around the world.  There will always be those who will not even acknowledge our Master; but we can make smaller circles in our own locations at home, at church and in our communities. 

Will you take my hand?  It belongs to my Master!


Excerpt from one of my poems at

Poetry Corner

Stand Up

"He did it for them and for you and for me—

The victory has been won.—Believe it!  Be free!

Stand up!  Take His hand; let His love soothe your pain.

Reach out.  Touch another; let His love flow again."




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Music:  "He Touched Me"

(Bill Gaither, 1963)


Shackled by a heaven burden

‘Neath a load of guilt and shame.

Then the hand of Jesus touched me,

And now I am no longer the same.


He touched me, O he touched me.

And O the joy that floods my soul!

Something happened, and now I know.

He touched me and made me whole


Since I met this Blessed Savior.

Since He cleansed and made me whole,

I will never cease to praise Him;

I’ll shout it while eternity rolls.


@  There's Good News October 2011

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