The Fifth King

 

Once upon a time there was a king.  He possessed a strong sense of justice.  He knew deep down where it counts, that at its core, justice was treating equal things equally.

All of his laws would be built on this simple truth.

His kingdom lasted a single day.

A new king came along.  This king possessed a strong sense of mercy.  He knew deep down where it counts, that at its core, mercy values the person over what he or she did or did not do.  All of his laws would reflect this simple truth.

His kingdom endured 24 hours.

Over time a third king rose to rule. This king was a wrestler.  He wrestled with justice and mercy.  He knew deep down where it counts, that mercy tempered justice and that justice grounded mercy.  All of his laws would live in the tension between these two universal forces.

His kingdom was just as successful as those of his predecessors.

A fourth man with a broken but kingly heart chanced upon this thrice failed kingdom and made his way to the graveyard of dead ideologies.  He knelt in the shadows of these heartfelt ideals and mourned their demise.

He could think of nothing that might rise from the ashes of all these noble endeavors and restore health to the land.  He pondered forgiveness; and tried to awaken hope; he prayed for faith; and pled for love.  But the graveyard yielded no comfort to his saddened soul.

If only there was someone, he thought, a person to guide me through the labyrinth of laws to something better–a relationship I could trust with my whole heart. 

In the graveyard behind him he heard a sound, like the splitting of stone and the shifting of ground.  He turned and looked, and found a smile set below kind eyes that acknowledged his presence with a nod and led him far from the graveyard of noble principles into a new kingdom founded on an eternal relationship.

His own heart smiled and kept smiling from that day forth.