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This is a true story, about a German artist named Albrecht Durer and one of his famous drawings, "The Praying Hands."





Durer’s Father was a goldsmith and apprenticed him in his early years to learn the family trade, but Durer loved painting and really wanted to be a painter. So his father finally gave in and agreed that he could go to Nuremberg to study art. Unfortunately though, his father wasn’t wealthy enough to support him, so he had to work as a labourer to support himself. The trouble was, this left him little time to work on his art. Now he had a friend, Franz Knigstein who was also a gifted artist and in the same boat, so they decided that they’d draw lots and one would support the other while he finished his studies and then he’d support the other out of his earnings as an artist. Well, they drew lots and Albrecht won. So Albrecht was able to devote himself to his art studies, but he agreed to support Franz after achieving success so his friend could finish his studies. Some years later Albrecht returned to find Franz so he could keep his end of the bargain. But when he got there he discovered what a sacrifice his friend had made for him.

You see as Franz had worked at his labour, his fingers had become twisted and stiff. His long, slender fingers and sensitive hands had been ruined for life. He could no longer manage the delicate brush strokes so necessary for executing fine paintings. But in spite of the price he had paid, Franz wasn’t bitter. He was happy that his friend Albrecht had attained success.

Well, one day Albrecht saw his friend kneeling, his rough hands entwined in silent prayer. Albrecht quickly sketched the hands, later using the sketch to create this drawing "The Praying Hands". He saw his friend’s hands as a symbol of the sort of love that Jesus had shown us. A self giving love that preferred the good of the loved one to its own rights. A self emptying love that chose servanthood over equality with God and the glory of heaven.

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