CHARLOTTE, NC, December 23, 2014 – Myra Brooks Welch may have been the most prolific poet you never heard of.
Growing up in a musical family, she became known as “The poet with the singing soul“ because of her passion for playing the organ.
Thanks to one poem however, her words became known throughout the world for their lyrical rejoicing in God’s love. “The Touch of the Master’s Hand“ is less than 300 words long but its message speaks volumes and, yet, Myra Brooks Welch remains largely unknown.
In 1921, Ms. Welch attended a lecture to a group of college students afterwhich she was so inspired that she was “filled with light“ and wrote a poem in just 30 minutes.
Believing it was a gift from God, Welch anonymously submitted her lovely package of words to her church where it was printed in the bulletin. The author had been so moved by the universal message that she did not believe it needed to be identified by her name.
From that simple act, the poem spread like magic across the country.
Years later, at an international religious convention, Myra Brooks Welch’s poem was read out loud to the audience of attendees under the listing of “author unknown.“
When the reading was over, a young man rose from the crowd, looked toward the podium and said, “I know the author, and it is time the world did too. It was written by my mother, Myra Welch.“
And so, from that day to this,“The Touch of the Master’s Hand“ has found its rightful author, Myra Brooks Welch of La Verne, California.
But there is more to this story, for you see, the woman who composed those wonderful words was “battered and scarred“ from the debilitating effects of arthritis. The disease had robbed her of her ability to make the music she loved so dearly at her organ and, so, she chose poetry as her way to speak through the music of words.
Confined to a wheelchair, the spirit of Myra Brooks Welch could not and would not be contained. She managed to compose her works by using the eraser end of a pencil to type her messages from her badly disabled hands.
The words came slowly, but the joy she expressed far outweighed the pain she endured. You see, these were the joyous expressions of the wonders of life, as experienced from the heart of a woman whose soul had been touched by the magic of music. These were the words of someone who had indeed been touched by “The Master’s Hand.“
The Old Violin
‘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,”
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 Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– by Myra Brooks Welch
Myra Brooks Welch published three volumes of poetry even though she was confined to a wheelchair for more than twenty years.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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