The Touch of the Master’s Hand

The Master's Hand

By the Touch of the Master’s Hand

A few years ago, my good friend Barry presented me with a plaque, which quickly found a cherished place on a wall of my law office — a painting and a poem, signed “Author Unknown.” I later learned the poem was written and published anonymously by Myra Brooks Welch, as a gift for us all. The poem begins:

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people,” he cried.“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two? Two dollars, who makes it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,

From the room far back a gray bearded man came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet, as sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?” as he held it aloft with its bow.
“One thousand, one thousand? Do I hear two? Two thousand, who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone,” said he.

The audience cheered, but some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand. What changed its’ worth?”

Swift came the reply.

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” . . .

Jane Goodall once said, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Our final chapter of Wonderlust closes:

Philosopher and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer wrote the first two volumes of his Philosophy of Civilization in 1923. Upon his death in 1965, the incomplete drafts of the final two volumes were found. Some historians attribute his failure to complete the work to his intense, life-consuming work at his mission hospital in Africa. But a deeper examination reveals that he decided his life, rather than his writings, would be his argument — the validation for his philosophy.There is no better guide for the stories we create to guide us through our futures: My Life Will Be My Argument. I will be a Difference Maker.

For the 2017 New Year – and for every New Year – let us resolve:

Whatever difference we decide to make, let us craft the difference with the Touch of the Master’s Hand – for it is what we chose to do, and how we chose to do it, that becomes our lasting legacy.

Happy New Year!

Joanie and Dick Jacobs

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10 Comments on "The Touch of the Master’s Hand"

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My absolute favorite. love you


I so appreciate you sharing this with me. I felt it most touching and beautiful. What a wonderful gift!

With warm regards,
Mary Ann


Lois and Ralph Patton

A very happy New Year to you both! Dick, thank you for your postings; they never disappoint.

I’ve posted your wonderful blog on both Twitter and my Facebook page. Hope people read it.


Thank you for this!
Happy New Year to you and yours!

Diana (and Teddy the little dog)

You ARE a difference-maker! It’s wonderful and inspiring to know you.

Happy New Year!

Well said!



As always, Richard, your blog inspires. I have always believed that how we live our lives, what we leave behind, is all that really matters. You make the point well. Thanks, and Happy New Year.