Thursday, October 28, 2004

the son

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare
works of art. They had everything in their collection,
from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together
and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam
conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very
courageous and died in battle while rescuing another
soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his
only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was
a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door
with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you
don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son
gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he
was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the
heart and he died instantly. He often talked about
you, and your love for art."
The young man held out this package. "I know this
isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think
your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of
his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe
at the way the soldier had captured the personality of
his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to
the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for
the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what
your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every
time visitors came to his home he took them to see the
portrait of his son before he showed them any of the
other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a
great auction of his paintings. Many influential
people gathered, excited over seeing the great
paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one
for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The
auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the
bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid
for this picture?"
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want
to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for
this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100,
Another voice shouted angrily. "We didn't come to see
this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the
Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son!
Who'll take the son? "
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room.
It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son.
"I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man,
it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the
picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy
investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice,
SOLD for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's
get on with the collection!"
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the
auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this
auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the
will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation
until this time. Only the painting of the son would be
auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit
the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel
cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is:
"The son, the son, who'll take the son?"
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

note: taken from an email i got a while ago