The Portrait - Author Unknown

This is an inspirational-story of a wealthy man and his son who both loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together andadmire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was verycourageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.

The father was notified and grieved deeply for hisonly son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there wasa knock at the door. A young man stood at the doorwith a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, youdon't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your songave his life. He saved many lives that day, and hewas carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him inthe heart and he died instantly. He often talked aboutyou, and your love for art."

The young man held out this package. "I know thisisn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but Ithink your son would have wanted you to have this."The father opened the package. It was a portrait ofhis son, painted by the young man. He stared in aweat the way the soldier had captured the personality ofhis 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 forthe picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay whatyour son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Everytime visitors came to his home he took them to seethe portrait of his son before he showed them any ofthe other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be agreat auction of his paintings. Many influentialpeople gathered, excited over seeing the greatpaintings and having an opportunity to purchase onefor their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. Theauctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start thebidding with this picture of the son. Who will bidfor this picture?"

There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We wantto see the famous paintings. Skip this one."But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid forthis 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, theRembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! Theson! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room.It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son."I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, itwas 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 thepicture of the son. They wanted the more worthyinvestments for their collections.The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice,SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let'sget 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 of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would beauctioned. 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 cruelcross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is:"The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything. 

Do what ever you like, but remember that maybe "one"of the people you might have taken time to send this to, may be just the person who needs to hear this.