‘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,”

But, No,

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 and bruised with hardship
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.

Myra Brooks Welch

This beautiful poem has been a source of inspiration and blessing to many people as it reminds individuals that God is not through with individuals yet. Sin batters and scars the soul. Sin brings sorrow, suffering, and shame. Sin causes people to feel depressed and a failure. And yet, where sin abounds, grace does much more abound so that the heart can live again, hope again, and sing again.

“Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?”

When the grace of God is received by faith, the teardrops can stop following. The heart can laugh again. The future looks brighter than ever before for God the Father controls the future, and He will do good for His children. The Lord has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Therefore, look up, Christian. Do not focus on the details of life. Do not think that any given moment will last. Only God changes not. Let the heart look to the Lord by faith.

“My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.”

Life is a dark maze that we tread. Though she said it in an ironic moment involving a personal decision, and with a touch of humor, Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, noted that, “Life is a struggle, but then it is short.” In the daily struggles of life never forget that the Father’s eye is on the sparrow.

“When Jesus is my portion
A constant Friend is He,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me.
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.”

The fall of the sparrow is not the fall of death, but the fall of the sparrow to the ground to hop around for food. The meaning is that as God the Father provides for the weakest parts of His creation, He will care for you. That is a comforting truth that must not be forgotten.

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