Not having children of this age, it shouldn’t affect me.
My job, however, allows me to work with folks who do have children this age. When the kids are home, everyone gets a little break.
I anticipated a slower week. Things needed doing–aren’t there always things that need doing? I’d made a loose schedule–emphasis on loose–and was anticipating checking things off my usually lost lists.
Which is when John informed me, before leaving on yet another jet plane, that I had jury duty Monday. Needed to report to the courthouse by 8 a.m.
I don’t know a lot of people who get thrilled about jury duty. I know they’re out there–I met several of them Monday. Many more are like me. It’s an inconvenience. Time I can’t get back.
Heading downtown is never my idea of driving fun. It was still dark, but the roads were packed with early-morning commuters and Spring Breakers heading for the theme parks to be there when they opened.
Being directionally challenged, I needed my GPS.
It chose not to work.
Panic ensued. I was driving down the toll road, screaming at Siri to find me directions. She was confused. Obviously, raised voices aren’t her preference. I was too addled to be calm. Lostness isn’t fun.
I had a vague idea of where I needed to get off. When I exited, I saw a few signs that led in a general direction. So I did what every woman does in such a situation.
At every stop light, I asked directions of those driving next to me.
Metal detectors were everywhere. They’re thinking weapons. Bangles can’t hurt others. Once through, I had to answer a questionnaire for their records. I momentarily considered snarky answers. Thought better of it. No one messes with the law.
The wait began. After rudimentary instructions, groups of people were called for different panels of jurors. I met a few of the ladies sitting next to me, and we had great conversation.
Until they got called.
At 1 p.m., I was called for a trial.
Fifty of us were escorted upstairs. A round of questions was asked as the accused sat before us. The one I found most amusing was “On a scale of one to ten, how excited were you to get a jury summons.” There were several nines. A man who was a middle school social studies teacher whose class were currently studying the judicial system. An eighteen-year-old young man, who was thrilled to be eligible to participate in this civic duty.
I said, “Three.”
Over three hours later, a panel was chosen.
I wasn’t on it.
I did learn to appreciate the process more. They’re sticklers for wanting to offer a fair trial to those accused of crimes. An impartial jury.
It struck me how God has gone out of His way to offer each of us a fair trial. We’re all guilty of falling short of perfection–heaven’s standard. God added an element that most trials here will never have. Someone who’s willing to stand in the place of the accused. Take their full punishment.
The accused goes free.
Jesus stood in the gap for us. Taking our punishment when He didn’t deserve it.
That’s a verdict I can embrace fully.