Forgiveness and a hardened heart
A gentleman once saw a boy steal a flower from his flower garden.
He went forth quietly in a roundabout way to meet the boy and, coming up behind him, laid his hand on the boy's shoulder, saying: "Now, my boy, answer me one question: Which is the best flower in my garden?"
The boy, finding no escape, looked around and after a few minutes' pause, said, "That rose is best," as he pointed to a beautiful moss rose.
The gentleman, still keeping one hand on the boy's shoulder, reached out his other hand and, plucking the rose in all its beauty, gave it to the boy. As he released him he said, "There, take it, my boy."
The boy was amazed. Looking into the face of his strange benefactor, he said, "Ain't you going to have me punished, sir?"
"No," was the reply; "but as I am going to give you the best flower in my garden, you will never steal from my flower beds again, will you?"
"Never, sir, as long as I live," was the emphatic reply; "but, please, sir, ain't there some little errand I can do for you?"
Free forgiveness and a token of love had won the hardened boy's heart, and from that hour he was the willing servant of his friend. --Christian Herald London