Christian Culture

The story behind the “Praying Hands”



By Campus Pastor Lin ChuLexington Landing

You may be familiar with this artwork, but you may not have heard the story behind it.

When Albrecht was young, he and his friend Franz were studying to be artists while both were working long hours at other jobs. Rather than both failing at their art studies, they decided one should work while the other attended school. Franz agreed to work as a laborer, while Albrecht pursued his art career. He promised to return the favor once he became successful.

Finally, Albrecht began to achieve fame. He returned to keep his promise to his friend but realized that the manual labor had been hard on Franz. His fingers were now too bent and twisted to manipulate a paintbrush.

One night, as Franz knelt in prayer, Albrecht sketched the crippled hands of the friend who had made his own success possible. This famous portrait of the hands folded in prayer is a tribute to the spirit of love and sacrifice of his friend Franz.

This story makes me think of my mother. She loves reading and writing. I remember an assignment from high school in Chinese class to recite a poem from a famous Chinese classical novel named “Dream of the Red Mansions”.

I came to my mom and began to recite it, but after I started a few verses, I forgot the rest. Immediately my mother started reciting the rest. That really surprised me. She surprised me again, saying, “I read the book more than four times when I was in your age.” Me? I hadn’t even finished it once.

My mother’s dream was to become a famous writer, but she gave up her dream to support me. Like Albrecht’s friend, Franz, my mother sacrificed for me.
Today, I want to invite you to think about those who have made sacrifices to support you, so that you could become who you are today.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” —Philippians 2:5-7, NIV 

Pastor Linqing ChuAbout Pastor Linqing Chu: My name is Lin (some call me Abby) and I joined PHS in July 2021 as Campus Pastor at Stonecrest in Woodbury, Minnesota, and later I joined at Lexington Landing in St. Paul, Minnesota. I graduated with a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 2019 and, prior to PHS, I served as a chaplain resident at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital. It’s my honor to have been ordained at Stonecrest when I first joined PHS! Currently, I live in Lakeville, Minnesota, with my husband Bing and our one-year-old daughter Hannah. We have a three-year-old miniature schnauzer Gracie who loves to “say hi” when people come to our house.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.



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