I quickened my pace

As I hurried home

More excited than normal

To make it on time

For my nightly appointment

A story-telling date

With my youngest daughter

That I always hated to miss

But tonight would be extra special

Did I have a story for her?

I set the scene with great dramatic effect

There I was at the edge of the crowd

Minding my own business

Listening to the Teacher

When suddenly there was a loud commotion

As the religious leaders pushed their way through the people

And brought her

Naked and trembling

Depositing her in the dust at his feet

She was an adulterer

And the law called for her to be stoned to death!

Men began looking around for a suitably sized rock

As they waited eagerly for the Teacher to announce that Justice must be done.

A hushed silence blew through the air

As he knelt down

Saying nothing

And started tracing a pattern in the sand with his finger

After what seemed like the longest oppressive silence

He finally opened his mouth

And spat out the verdict

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Which echoed out from his lips like a shockwave

Smashing into those gathered with blood on their lips

Causing an almost synchronised wave of departures

“I couldn’t wait, my love.

To rush home and bring you this story of an overwhelming compassion

Extended to a complete stranger.”

“What a beautiful story, papa” she concluded

And as I bent in to give her a bedtime kiss, she added softly

In the quietest of whispers,

“But tell me, how did you get all that dust on your one hand?”