Monday, July 16, 2007

Every Man's Battle.

I'm truly blessed to have a wife who cares as much for my spiritual well-being as she does for my physical well-being. Not long after we bought our iPod, we began downloading various podcasts about stuff that interested us. Naturally, I downloaded podcasts that had to do with Neverwinter Nights, Dungeons and Dragons, conservative politics, and Walk in the Word. My wife, though, is always on the lookout for podcasts she thinks I'll like and should listen to. She subscribed to one called Every Man's Battle. It's a series of short episodes based on a ministry workshop of the same name. It is full of advice and tools for men to maintain their spiritual life in today's world, as well as illustrative pieces. I listened to such a one today.

It tells the story of an old man who shares a passion for art collecting with his son. The son volunteers to serve during a war, and is killed in action shortly thereafter. A few months later, the father is visited by a young man whose life was saved by the son. The young man gives the father a portrait of his son, and the father takes it and cherishes it, even though it is a humble picture, and no masterpiece.

Years later, when the father dies, all of his paintings are being sold at auction. The auction opens with an item not on the docket: the portrait of the son. Bidding starts at $100 dollars, but there are no takers. Someone asks the auctioneer to move on to the "good stuff." Finally, and old man says, "Will you take $10? It's all I have, but I know the lad, and I'd like the portrait." The auctioneer relents and sells the portrait to the old man, then to the astonishment of the crowd, closes the auction. When questioned, he replies that according to the will of the father, whoever takes the son gets it all.

What a wonderful illustration of the Gospel!