The Right Judgment
“Praise the Lord…for
the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.” (Psalms 112:4)
Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor of NewYork for three terms from 1934 to 1945. Irascible, energetic and charismatic, he craved publicity
and is acclaimed as one of the three greatest mayors in American history.
Only five feet tall, he was called "the Little Flower", for the name Fiorello in
Italian means it.
Fiorello was a colorful character who used
to ride the city fire turcks, raid speakeasies with the police department,
take over the judge’s bench in court, take entire orphanages to baseball
games, and when the New York newspapers were on strike, he went on the radio
and read news to citizens.
One bitterly cold night in January of
1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest area of
the city. He dismissed the judge and took over the bench himself. A old woman
was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told
LaGuardia that her daughter’s husband had deserted her, her daughter was
sick, and her two grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper refused to
drop the charges. “It’s a bad neighborhood, your Honor,” the man said: “She’s
got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.” The mayor
sighed. He turned to the woman and said: “I’ve got to punish you. The law
makes no exceptions- ten dollars or ten days in jail.” But even as he
pronounced sentence, the mayor reached into his pocket. He extracted a bill
and tossed it into his hat saying: “Here is the ten dollar fine which I now
remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty
cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her
grand children can eat. The Bailiff collected the fines and gave them to the
defendant.” The following day a New York City newspapers reported that $47.50
was turned to feed the old lady’s grandchildren. Everyone, including
policemen, were fined, in the room gave the mayor a standing ovation.
is righteous. He has to punish the sinner. But we can not pay the price of our
sins. So He sent His Son to pay the price for us. We should live out a new
life in return of His love.