My thoughts go to an incident that took place some time ago in the society I live in: A gardener was employed by my colony to trim the trees, as a branch had fallen on a car during the heavy rains. As he was doing so the police arrived. "You are under arrest!" shouted the dozen or so cops as they put the poor fellow into their van. I went down and met the officer.
"He was only trimming the branches!" I said, "Not chopping them down!"
"It's still a crime!"
"May I talk to your superior?" I asked, and the policemen in the van obliged.
"You'll have to talk to the officer in charge of parks and gardens!" said his superior to me politely, "let him decide!"
And that's what I did. I spoke to his superior, "Okay! I'll let him go but tell him not to do it again without permission!" said the man and the police let the fellow off.
What happened was an act of mercy.
I' d like you to listen to a simple tale:
A French soldier in Napoleon's army had committed a crime.
The mother of the lad sought from Napoleon the pardon of her son. The Emperor said it was the man's second offence, and justice demanded his death.
"I don't ask for justice," said the mother, "I plead for mercy!"
"But," said the Emperor, "he does not deserve mercy!"
"Sir," said the mother, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, mercy cannot be deserved, mercy can only be given and that is all I ask!"
"Well then," said the Emperor, "I will have mercy!"
And her son was saved.
It's a simple story, but the truth is the same, the tree trimmer and the young lad have all broken the law, but mercy is above the law, it cannot be deserved by anyone, but it can be given by us if we are compassionate! And even when you are required to show mercy to someone, remember always, that it is only through mercy from the God above that you are alive and well, because all of us, in the lives we lead and have led, deserve to die..!
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org