Every year about this time, I stop and am reminded of our brief time together. I remember how you made me laugh. I remember how you would unexpectedly burst into song no matter where we were, making us all stop and laugh. You made us enjoy life to its fullest. Thank you Stumpy, for loving us so. This is not a new post, but one that takes my thoughts and heart and ties them tighter to the love of our father.
There is a framed poem hanging in our home. I pass by it every morning, and every once in a while I notice it, stop and smile as I remember my father-in law. His name was Del, but we called him Stumpy. He was a Godly man who loved the Lord and his family and that included me. Me, a soon to be divorced mom of a small boy. Not once did he ever make me feel “less than”. He and my mother-in-law loved me and my son unconditionally. They did not judge me but embraced me. Stumpy was my first glimpse of what Jesus must be like and I am blessed because his son, my husband, bears his image and reflects his love well. He touched my life so profoundly and in this poem I am reminded, that just one touch can change a life forever. Just one touch of the master’s hand takes someone like me who felt worthless and transforms them into a masterpiece. I pray you touch another life as Stumpy touched mine.
Touch of the Masters Hand by Myra Brooks Welch
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” (Matthew 8:3, 4 MSG)