The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” This teaching came alive in a courtroom recently, when a judge displayed a remarkable act of kindness and mercy to a man in need.
Daniel Murray had a history of parking fines, accumulating seven in total. Despite being in a challenging financial situation, he chose to take responsibility for his actions rather than blaming his circumstances. On the day of his court hearing, he arrived, out of breath and perspiring, having walked five miles as he had no money for transportation. He respectfully addressed the judge and acknowledged the consequences of his actions. The fines amounted to $250, money that Daniel did not have. Desperate, he asked if the deferral of the payment was possible due to his financial struggles.
Upon learning that Daniel had only 92 cents to his name, the judge realized that he was in a position to offer a much-needed blessing. The judge had received a letter that morning from a man named Frank J. Demacio, who, despite being unemployed due to a conflict, enclosed $25 in cash to contribute to the judge’s Filomena Fund. This fund, named after the judge’s mother, was established to assist people in dire financial situations like Daniel’s. Initially, the judge wanted Daniel to use Frank’s donation for an Uber ride, but he ultimately decided to use the Filomena Fund to cover all of Daniel’s fines and even retrieve his car.
Initially, Daniel felt undeserving of this generosity, but the judge insisted, and he gratefully accepted the gift. Before leaving the courtroom, the judge encouraged Daniel to pay it forward by showing kindness to someone else in need. As Ephesians 4:32 instructs us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Indeed, the act of mercy, kindness, and compassion demonstrated by the judge, and initially by Frank J. Demacio, not only alleviated Daniel’s immediate burdens but also served as a powerful reminder of the ripple effect that one act of kindness can create in a community. It underscores the principle that when we show mercy and compassion to others, it multiplies and impacts the lives of many. Let us take inspiration from this judge and use our own ‘kindness compass’ to direct us to someone in need of help today.