Touch of the Master’s hand


Imagine being touched by God and seeing his face. There is only one face we worship and adore and his name is Jesus; a face when seen unveiled allows us to see him in all his glory.

At this time of the year, we see the many faces of Christmas — music, bright lights, presents, busyness, family and smiling children.

I sat across from a woman at a friend’s house. Her smile was electrifying. I said to her, “Your smile is beautiful. It is undeniable that your heart has been touched by God as it shows on your face.”

I thought about the song of the old violin. It was just an old violin until the master violinist picked it up and played it.

The lyrics go something like this: “Well it was battered and scarred, but the auctioneer held it up with a smile. He said it sure ain’t much but it’s all we’ve got left. One, give me one dollar, who’ll make it two. Only two dollars, who’ll make it three. Three dollars twice, now that’s a good price. Who’s got a bid for me?

“From the back of the crowd, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow. He wiped the dust from the old violin and tightened up the strings. Then he played out a melody pure and sweet, sweeter than the angels sing. And then the music stopped and the auctioneer said, now what is your bid for this old violin. Then he held it up with the bow and cried out, one, give me $1,000, who’ll make it two. Only $2,000, who’ll make it three. Three thousand twice now that’s a good price. Who’s got a bid for me?

“The people cried out, what made the change, we don’t understand. Then the auctioneer stopped and said with a smile, it was the touch of the master’s hand.”

There are many faces that we see as we go about our busy days. There is one in particular that I won’t ever forget. In our early years on the Blanco, snow had fallen 3 feet and the chore of the day was getting the children to the bus stop on time. If one child lagged, that meant all lagged and all were late.

Each morning, I prodded four children to finish their breakfast, put on their shoes and coats, and be out the door by 7 a.m.

If we weren’t there waiting, the bus driver would zip right by. Even if the children were only 20 feet from the stop, waving from our red truck, he would barrel down the Lower Blanco. His face was always angry. He was defiant and showed no mercy or compassion. That was our school bus driver at the time.

I prayed to God, more for myself than for the bus driver. Why wouldn’t he wait for us when he saw us? That meant I had to drive the kids to town on ice and snow or keep them home for the day.

Then one morning, we were about 30 yards from the stop. I put my foot to the gas. I knew I couldn’t catch the bus in time. But something was different that December morning — a change on the bus driver’s face. He was smiling. Not only smiling, he was waiting for us. I saw the face of God that morning and felt the touch of the Master’s hand.

We enter this holiday season with excitement, dread, vacation plans and other things that make up the season. It’s a busy time of stringing lights, decorating trees, buying gifts and attending holiday functions. But without a special touch, it would be just another day, just like the old violin.

Final brushstroke: What was the face that I saw on that cold winter morning with snow in the air? Why did my face reflect a smile as I wrestled with my children in bewilderment? Perhaps it was because I was touched by the expression of another, someone who had been touched by the Master’s hand.

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