James Moore tells the story in “Attitude Is Your Paintbrush” of a
young orphaned boy who had been taken to his grandmother’s house. The house caught fire one night. The grandmother tried to rescue the little boy, but was overcome by smoke and died in the disaster. As the fire blazed, a crowd gathered. They could hear the boy crying for help, but nobody could seem to find a way to reach him.
Then, a stranger rushed out of the crowd and climbed a metal pipe that stretched past an upstairs window. the pipe was extremely hot, but the man ignored the pain. He went in, reach the boy and climbed with him back down the hot pipe to safety below.
A few weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who should have custody of the boy. One by one each person spoke about how they could care for the boy. A farmer, then a teacher, then the town’s richest citizen suggested because of his great wealth he should have the boy.
The judge asked if anyone else had anything to say. Slowly, a man walked to the front of the room. As the man reached the front of the room, he slowly took his hands from his pockets and showed everyone present badly scarred hands.
Suddenly, the little boy cried out with surprise. He recognized his rescuer. The scars were from the hands he had received climbing the hot pipe. The boy fell into the open arms of the man who had saved him. One by one the crowd left, because those scarred hands said more than anything else anyone had to say.