“In a faraway land, in a time not like ours and in a place not like our own, there lived a benevolent and righteous king. Unlike other kings around him, he feared the Lord and followed his statutes. Worship was the matter of his heart, and song the medium of his tongue. Every morning when he rose he would open his window, lift his voice and sing praises to his God and every morning it seemed like the entire universe would stop to hear his sweet melody. People on the street would stand still; those arguing on the way would silence their disputes and would inevitably join in. Prayer was another avenue in which he flowed so that anyone who stood in his presence for more than a couple of moments could tell that he had been with God. Criminals feared coming before him because his seemingly natural connection with the Almighty would cause them to fall on their knees in repentance and shame. He made thieves pay back what they stole. He sentenced murders and rapists to a life time of restitution to the victim and their families. Although his actions and judgments were a reflection of his mercy filled heart, many people feared coming before him least their sin be found out.
“The king loved his subjects. He treated his servants more like sons and daughters rather than slaves as the other kings around him. He allowed the poor and the rich alike to feast at his banqueting table. He clothed those who were naked, and built homes for those who were without. For his generosity and loving kindness poverty levels were minimal. Hunger was not a sentiment that many people in his kingdom felt unless they choose to forgo food voluntarily. People appreciated him and were thankful for him, that is everyone except his children.
“His children were an interesting sort. Although they had grown in the palace of the king and were trained in all that was good and right, it did not reflect in their behavior. Instead they behaved as if they belonged to wolves rather than a people of a great inheritance. They wore clothing that no one else in the kingdom would dare to wear, tattered with holes and drenched with stains. They lived in houses that were built with scraps of metal and wood even though their father’s house had plenty room to spare. These were the kingdom’s drunks and these were the renegades. They ran about the kingdom, looting homes and destroying businesses. Most of all the king’s children did not respect all of the good that he had done for the kingdom, rather they despised their father’s generosity and labor of love. They could not understand the level of compassion that he had for such worthless souls and saw it as a weakness.
“Even though they treated the father so, the king persisted in his love for them. Constantly he would urge them to leave where they were and come back to his home, back to his table where there was plenty of room and safety was paramount. No matter how rational and sound his pleas were, come back they could not because their hearts were already so far away. For this ignorance and despondency, they continued to live in the filth and shame of their wicked ways. Neither could they find forgiveness, even though the king had plenty of it to show their way.