One day a poor girl ventured into the garden of the Queen’s palace, and approached the gardener, telling him that her mother was lying very ill, and that she longed for a flower, such as she had seen in the Queen’s gardens. It was winter time, and the flowers were rare at that season. The child had saved a few pennies and wished to buy a rose for her sick mother. The gardener had no authority to give away the Queen’s flowers, and he said when she offered to pay, “The Queen’s has no flowers for sale,” and would have sent the poor child away. But the Queen herself just happened to be in the greenhouse, and unobserved either by the gardener or his little customer, had overheard the conversation. As the child was turning away sorrowful and disappointed, the Queen stepped from behind her flowery screen and addressed the child, saying: “The gardener was quite right, my child, he has no authority to give you the flowers you want, nor does the Queen cultivate flowers for sale; but the Queen has flowers to give away”; and, suiting the action to the word, she lifted from the basket into which she had been snipping the flowers a handful of rare roses and gave them to the child, saying: “Take these to your mother with my love, and tell her that the Queen sent them. I am the Queen.” So let me say to you, God has no forgiveness for sale; you cannot buy it with your poor penance of tears, prayers, or repentance; God has forgiveness to give, and you may take it by faith, but not barter for it with anything you can do.
From Book Four - Bible Illustrations, Heartwarming Bible Illustrations –
Richard A. Steele, Jr. and Evelyn Stoner . AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN,
1998, Pages 148-149.