Sermon Illustrations

MERCY IN NIGHT COURT

One night in 1935, Fiorello H. La Guardia, mayor of New York, showed up at a night court in the poorest ward of the city. He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench. One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren. La Guardia said, "I’ve got to punish you. Ten dollars or ten days in jail."

As he spoke, he threw $10 into his hat. He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat." The hat was passed around, and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50.

I don’t know if this story is true but if it is, then praise the Lord for that mayor who had the good hearted sense to demonstrate mercy on that poor lady. He did even more than demonstrate mercy.

(From a sermon by Steve Shepherd, "In His Mercy")

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