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When the gentle Christ was tracing
His forgiveness in the sand,
'Twas a woman's need effacing
Scarlet sins in Israel's land.


Though the Christ, Himself, was sinless,
Yet he knew all human woe.
Though His life was pure and spotless,
Yet for sins His blood did flow.


'Twas a box of spikenard broken,
That in gratitude was split,
As a tender, loving token
Of the wiping out of guilt.


Would you bless your fallen brothers?
Then be mindful of their lot,
And forgive the sins of others,
As you would have yours forgot.


For the thing that makes us tender
Is in having sinned the same
As the one to whom we render
Some sweet service without blame.


You may hesitate at kindness,
But be very sure of this,
That the souls who walk in blindness
Long the more for what they miss.


Oh, the softest words are spoken,
And our acts are strangely kind,
For another's heart that's broken,
If his sins are ours, we find.


And the kindest souls are ever
Those who sin and suffer most,
And who thoughtfully endeavor
To froget whereof men boast.


But no act can be mistaken,
If we pause to bear in mind,
That to bless a life forsaken
Is the best way to be kind.


For the gentle Christ still traces
His forgiveness in the sand,
And some human need effaces
Scarlet sins in every land.