I heard this story one time and I’m going to relate it as best I can here:
There was once a world-renowned artist who was loved and adored. Many said he was a genius. One day, as he was walking down the street looking in the shop windows, he was amazed to find one of his early paintings.
He was heart-broken to see the filthy, disgraceful condition his masterpiece was in and he was determined to get it back. The shop-keeper, recognizing this famous, wealthy artist asked an extremely high price for the wretched thing that was once a masterpiece.
Without hesitation, the artist paid the price and gladly took the painting home. He tenderly repaired the torn places in the canvas putting right what had been torn away, he washed the painting until it was once more clean and beautiful, and he gently and lovingly displayed his masterpiece in a place of honor in his home.
The artist could see beneath the dirt and filth to the beauty on the canvas. Though the surface showed the abuse endured in a cruel world, the artist knew the beauty he had once created and he was willing to pay the price required in order the make perfect what the world had defiled.