I’ve been in a jury pool for District Court for the past 3 years straight. Every few months, I’ve gotten a summons to report for jury duty, but have either not been chosen or the case was settled out of court. Then on January 27th, I was called to appear for a murder trial.
There are few places in my world that match the solemn silence I experienced in the courtroom that day. We were rows of nameless numbers under a high-domed ceiling, waiting on procedure and protocol, absent of cell phones or coffee mugs. It was awkward, unnerving. A line of a verse floated back and forth in my memory, “against You, and You alone, have I sinned.” (Psalm 51:4)
Yes, God, I am a sinner and You have redeemed me, renewed, and restored my relationship with You. How can I thank you enough?
As God would have it, I was chosen for that jury and the trial lasted 3 weeks. Each day before I went to the courthouse, I read through Psalm 51.
- It settled my heart on the One who upholds Justice and Mercy with equal strength.
- It gave me a point of reference in discerning truth from lies.
- It was a Light in the dark story line I heard each day.
As the days stretched into weeks, we became more acquainted with each other in the jury room. Even though we couldn’t talk about the details of the case, camaraderie formed until we arrived at our time to deliberate and settle on a verdict. I asked for their permission to share Psalm 51 in that jury room before we began.
When we’d come to our conclusion after 9 hours of deliberation, we were a solemn and teary group, carrying the weight of suddenly finding ourselves on the front line of our justice system. I asked again for their permission, this time to pray for our decision and offer that weight to the One who holds generous Mercy alongside perfect Justice.
Being asked to serve on a jury wasn’t my first summons, and it won’t be my last. King Jesus calls me to action everyday.
Some days I answer quickly, willingly.
Other days I might turn away from an opportunity,
keep silent when I should speak,
hold back instead of stepping up.
When I think on the many steps that brought me into this place of serving, I recognize 3 key words:
Equip – I’m always looking for ways to be ready for God’s next thing. He has equipped me in His Word.
Awaken – I’ve asked to live wide awake to the Gospel and not live a drowsy faith.
Focus – My word for 2020. Even though the things I’d intended to focus on got muddled for 3 weeks, I was right where God wanted me to live a focused faith walk.
What about you? Has God summoned you to a particular kind of Kingdom work? How might you answer His call?