Christian Stories "Toil-worn Hands" was Penned & Compiled by Peter O'Neill for 21st Century Christianity
From childhood Albrecht Durer wanted to paint. Finally, he left home to study with a great artist. He met another student who also had this same dream and the two became great friends & roommates. Both being poor, they found it difficult to make a living and study at the same time. Albrecht's friend offered to work while Albrecht studied. Then when the paintings began to sell, he would have his chance. After much persuasion, Albrecht agreed and studied faithfully while his friend toiled long hours to make a living.
The day came when Albrecht sold a wood-carving and his friend went back to his paints, only to find that the hard work had stiffened and twisted his fingers and he could no longer paint with skill. When Albrecht learned what had happened to his friend, he was filled with great sorrow. One day returning home unexpectedly he heard the voice of his friend and saw the gnarled, toilworn hands folded in desperate prayer before him.
"I can show the world my appreciation by painting his hands as I see them now, folded in prayer." It was this thought that inspired Albrecht Durer when he realized that he could never give back to his friend the skill which had left his hands.
Durer's gratitude was captured in his inspired painting that has become world famous. And, we are blessed by both the beauty of the painting and the moving story of gratitude and brotherhood that inspired it.