Saturday, May 24, 2008

Unseen Sacrifices

Last month we were studying the Renaissance era. Reading more about the arts and artists of that time, we came across Albrecht Durer, who was the greatest German painter of the Renaissance. As we began researching about him, we discovered the famous picture "The Praying Hands" and an amazing story of sacrificial love.

Albrecht Durer and his brother Albert both had a dream to become artists. However, living in a family of eighteen children, they knew their father could never afford to send both of them to art school. As they discussed the problem, they decided that one brother would work in the mines to support the other while studying art. Then, when that brother had completed his studies, he would return the favor and work to support the other. Albrecht won the toss of the coin and went to school first, while Albert went to work in the mines.Albrecht's talents were remarkable and by the time he graduated, he was earning large fees for his commissioned works. Returning home a successful artist, he said to Albert, "Now it's your turn to go to school, dear brother."With his body worn out from years of hard work in the mines, Albert replied, "No, it's too late for me. My fingers have all been smashed at least once and my arthritis is so bad that I could never hold a pen or brush to a canvas. No, for me it's too late." As the tears streamed down Albert's face, Albrecht realized the great sacrifice his brother had made. Moved by this incredible gift of love, Albrecht painstakingly painted a portrait of the hands that had given him so much. Immortalizing his brother's hands, Albrecht painted his most well-known masterpiece, "The Praying Hands".

As a homeschool mom, every sacrifice is worth the joy of seeing my children learn about God and grow in their faith.

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