2/12/2006

WHO'LL TAKE THE SON?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. Theyhad

everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They wouldoften

sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Viet Namconflict

broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died inbattle

while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieveddeeply

for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at thedoor.

A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. Hesaid,

"Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gavehis

life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safetywhen

a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He oftentalked

about you, and your love for art. The young man held out his package. "I

know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think yourson

would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, paintedby 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 tothe 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 agift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitorscame to

his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showedthem

any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a fewmonths

later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Manyinfluential

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 poundedhis

gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Whowill

bid for this picture?"

There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted. "Wewant

to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will

start the bidding? $100, $200?"

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 realbids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll taketheon?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was thelongtime

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 ofa

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 likethe

auctioneer, His message today is, "The son, the son, who'll take theson?"

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

(Author unknown.)

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