The Parable of the Rolling Stones

Once upon a time there was an old lady who lived in a house at the bottom of a hill. About halfway up the hill was an old abandoned mine. Surrounding the entrance to the mine were piles and piles of rocks and small boulders that had been excavated from the hill. Some of the local kids were exploring one afternoon and they discovered the rock piles. They soon discovered that rolling the rocks down the hill was a lot of fun. Eventually, they saw the old lady’s house with all of her potted plants and lawn gnomes sitting in the yard and they devised an improvised “bowling” game. Once it got dark, and they all went home.

The next morning, when the old lady went out to get the newspaper, she saw the damage that been done to her plants and her gnomes. She went into town and filed a complaint, but she was told that if she didn’t know who did it, there was nothing that could be done. She requested the rock piles be removed from the hillside, but she was told that since the hill was public property and rock rolling was technically not illegal, nothing could be done. When she told her neighbors about it, they said they would pray for her, and they even offered to help clean up the mess.
​A few weeks later it happened again, only this time her little dog had been badly injured by a rolling rock. This time, they caught one of the children responsible, but by now the news of Rock Bowling had spread throughout children of the town. Some of the townspeople started calling for the rocks to be removed, but the town mayor refused. After all, he told them, it wasn’t really a rock problem; it was a heart problem. She was told that she could put a sign outside her house designating it as a rock-free zone, but that the rocks wouldn’t be removed. Once again, her neighbors offered to pray for her and to help her clean up the mess.

A few weeks later, it happened a third time, only this time her young grandson was badly injured by a rolling rock. Upon hearing the news, the local church organized a prayer vigil to pray for the victim of this tragedy. The Mayor issued a public statement saying that his thoughts and prayers were with the lady and her grandson, and promising that he would implement a rock-rolling educational program in the public schools. Meanwhile, a few of the townspeople rented some excavation equipment and they drove up the hill, loaded up all of the rocks, and took them away.

Now tell me, who do you think showed the old lady the most compassion?

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