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 by Frank Shortt
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        Once upon a time there was a law in the land that said if a person did a certain wrong, that person should be stoned until they died. This law was for the common man as well as the rulers. The rulers did not deem it necessary to abide by the law that they themselves had instituted. The land became wickeder, and wickeder, as evil rulers used the law for great gain and pushed the common people down to the ground.
        There was a poor woman in the land who had committed the wrong of being with another man who was not her husband. This woman was just like any other woman in that she had emotions, desires, and a need to be wanted. She did not claim to be anything other than what she was. A tree can only bear the fruit that is in its roots unless the life in the tree is suddenly changed.
        This woman was caught in the very act of doing this wrong so that she could not deny it. She had no defense for her wrong. She had no one to defend her as everyone was afraid of the rulers. So she was brought into the midst of the rulers and condemned to be stoned.
Suddenly, a voice was heard in the background.
       “Which of you rulers have never committed a wrong?” He asked.
        No one had seen him come in.
        All eyes turned to the man. He was just a common man. He was not overly handsome that he should demand any attention. He looked to be maybe fifty years old. (In essence, he was only around the age of thirty but by reason of abuse he looked older).
         “What are you doing here? The rulers asked. What do you have to do in this matter?”
         “I am only trying to get you to see your great wrong in condemning someone when all of you are guilty of the same, he continued. Furthermore, this poor woman was not taught love and compassion by the rulers, she was only going by her emotions.”
        He bent down and wrote something in the sand.
         The rulers looked at each other. They knew what each one had done wrong. Their hearts condemned them because they knew that they had taught a law which was without any grace or mercy. They had not taught the woman the importance of doing the thing that was right just because it was right. They had only taught her that “if you do wrong, you will be punished for that wrong”.
        They had not given her any hope of life. They had not given her any hope of redemption.
        The man arose from the floor where he had written something with the tip of his finger.
         “Let the first man, who is without wrongdoing, cast the first stone at the woman.”
        There was a silence that could have been cut with a knife. The man once again stooped to write on the floor. He paid no attention to the movements of the rulers. The rulers feared to do anything because they knew they could be stoned by those present.
        One by one the rulers began to disperse. Each examined his conscience and came up with the same conclusion.
        “I am not guiltless. I have been guilty of wrongdoing”.
        The man’s ploy had worked for the poor woman. She, of a sudden, found herself alone with the man who had dared to question the rulers.
        “Where are your accusers?” he asked as he arose from the floor.
         “They all went out” she replied sighing with relief.
        “Then it looks as though your wrongdoing is exonerated, he spoke with passion, go and do no more wrong.”
        The woman knew she was forgiven. She had never known such love and compassion. She had never heard a man who had spoken like this man. Her whole being felt completely cleansed, as if a heavy yoke had suddenly been lifted. She could only grasp the man around his legs and cry bitter tears of repentance. Her testimony alone was a catalyst for the salvation of many.
          The rulers were not content to allow a common man to speak as God. They gathered all sorts of the baser element who thought it not wrong to lie for money’s sake. They finally dragged the man into the midst of them, condemned him to die for making himself God and took him out and hanged him on a tree.
         They were too late. The spirit of the man had already been unleashed in the land. Too many people had heard the story of repentance and forgiveness. Too many had been given the gift of the resurrection. To this day, there still remains a remnant of the Spirit of this man. When the last person suddenly realizes the importance of this simple act of kindness, there will be a total change in the way rulers judge the common people.