TITLE: The Tale of a Murderer and a Father's Love
By Kathy Barnes
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The Tale of a Murderer
And a Fatherís Love
Once upon a time, there was a very wealthy and powerful man. He was a good man, a fair man, and just man. He had an only child, a son, that he loved very much. This child was the apple of his eye and there was nothing that the father would not give him or do for him. The child loved his father just as much.
The child grew into a man and was very much like his father. Like his father, he was a good man and there was no evil in him, only love. All the laws of the land, and desired of his father, he carefully obeyed. He used his wealth and power to feed the hunger, to provide care for the sick, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and meet their needs, just as he had seen his father do. The people love him because he was generous and good. He was kind and compensated to all. Unlike others, he did not despise or look down on the homeless, lost or abused, or think of himself as better than them. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, he spent his time with the prostitutes, the junkies, the thieves, the prisoners and the poor telling them that they were loved and there was a better life for them than what they were living. Many a dying man was saved by him, for he offered them a better way, a fresh start, a new live and hope.
The common people loved him, but the leaders not so much. He had pointed out their faults and by comparison, they were cold and heartless. They feared that the people would love him more than them. They had flaunted their power and prestige while condemning the common man, pointing out all of his faults. Worst yet he had publicly disgraced them and said that they were no better than the vilest offender was. Each day they hated him more and more.
They spoke to the crowd and to me saying you are no less than he is. All of us have it in our power to be like him. If you had his wealth and wisdom then you would be just like him. He is no different or better than you are. You do not owe him anything. It is simple luck that he was born into that household. There is not just one way but many ways that lead to power and happiness. Think of all the things you could do if you had his resources. You could do anything you wanted, have anything you want. Nothing could stop you. All you have to do is take it. Who is he to tell you what you must do? Who does he think he is anyway, God? We believed their lies and they stirred the evil in our heart. In our blood lust, a mob of us took him prisoner, tortured and murdered him. It was only afterwards that we realized what we had done.
Only as I sat wait for my day in court did I comprehend fully that I had murdered a man that had never done me harm. It was too late to take it back and I was about to receive the reward of my action. I stood covered in guilt and shame before the judge and he asked my plea. Did I kill Jesus? There were too many witnesses for me even to think about pleading innocent. Ever careless word I said, ever action I had taken had been recorded. So I pleas guilt and threw myself on the mercy of the court hoping for life in prison verse the death I knew I deserved.
I saw his father there in court. You could feel his pain. I want to say something, but I dared not speak for everything was to lame. I am sorry I killed you only son. I did not know what I was doing; I was just carried away by the heat of the moment. I did not know that it was wrong. If I had been born to, different parents or different circumstances I would have not needed to do it. He deserved it. I knew the truth. I choose to follow my desires, my wants and did not care what it cost anyone else. Somehow, I thought that I would never have to pay the price for my choices.
The judge pronounced my sentence, death. It was the justice that I deserved. The father rose, spoke, and asked mercy. He said his son death was enough. He requested that I be released unto his hands and his care. The judge agreed. I expected vengeance for the murder of his son. We, I had been exceeding cruel and hateful. I had mocked him, beat him, striped him naked, gambled for his clothing, and pierced his tattered body, nailed him to a tree and left him there to die of suffocation. As if that was not enough, I had stuck a spear in his side just to make sure he was dead. I wonder what form of torture and death awaited me. At best, I thought that he would take me as a slave to do his every bidding. Never again would I be able to do anything I wanted. Never again would I have anything.
He took me home and gave me his sonís room. He told me that he forgave me and that he would treat me as his son, adopting me as his own. He said I could have anything that was his sons and if I needed anything, all I had to do was ask. He sent servants in to feed and care for me. At first, I thought it a trick; surely, he would kill me in my sleep. He wanted me to know what I could have had and choose to throw away. In time, I stopped fearing for my life.
In time I asked what would happen if I tried to leave. He said it would make him break his heart, but to look around there had never been any guards. He said he would not force me to stay against my will. I had been given all the rights and inheritance of his son, but I could leave and return to my former state if I wished. I did not understand him or know what to think. He had not given me what I deserved, but had instead given me the gift of grace to be his child. All I had to do was to take it.
He had shown me so much love that I would be a fool for leaving and so I stayed. I had learned to love him, because he loved me when I was unloveable. Although he has never brought it up again I remember who I was. I asked him one day how he could love me when I was so unworthy and unclean. Father said it is not who I am that allows him to love me. He said love is who he is and he can do no different.
His love is so sweet I cannot begin to tell you. Each day I find myself wanting to be closer to him and more like him. Never do I want to leave his presence for in it is the hope, the joy, the peace, and the love I was looking for. His house is big and all are welcome will you not come and see for yourself. I promise you will never be the same for if he can change me he can change anyone. Do you need love? Come!
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