Jury Duty

A little bit ago, I was called for jury duty. Honestly, I was a bit excited. Time to go fulfill my civic duty. Be in a court of law. Use my God given intelligence to see justice done.

I got there and sat. Luckily I had brought my Kindle because I had been called for jury duty another time, in another place. Along with 82 other people, I waited until the jury manager had enough people to fill two jury pools. When enough people showed up, we were split into two groups and told a bit about our trials.

Here is where I realized how much I didn’t actually want the reality of being on a jury. The jury that was chosen from the group I was sitting in would sit and listen to the intimate details of a rape case. They tossed out some shocking words and asked if anybody would have a problem hearing these types of things. As a grown up, of course I am able to hear these such words, but the little girl inside of me was screaming, “I do not want to hear these gory details.” The lawyers made it clear that the case was going to come down to two people telling the same story in a different way, and that only one of them could be giving you the real version. The lover of justice inside of me was crying out, “I do not want to have to listen and decide who is telling the truth.” The realist inside of me was panicking with this thought, “There is a victim here, either a girl has been raped, or a boy is going to be in real trouble for having sexual relations with someone who got angry after. And the judge is going to ask me, a stranger, to figure out which is being victimized.” The defense basically told us that this was where they were heading, I’m not just making it up. All of these thoughts are racing around inside my head. They’re bouncing off of each other, multiplying and intensifying.

But, there is a little part of my mind that is saying, “Pick me.” “I don’t want to be the one who is picked last for everything.” “Pick me.” “I’m really fair. and just. and honest. and good.” “I’m the best juror you’ve got here.”

It was such a strange place to be. Such conflicting thoughts. Running around together.

In the end I was not chosen for the jury. I read my kindle book. I sat on the hard benches. I answered the questions that were asked of me. Then on my way out of the courthouse, I prayed. I thanked God for not asking me today to make that judgement. I prayed fervently for the people on the jury who would be listening. and processing. and deciding. I prayed for the boy and the girl. God keep them in your hands.

Since then, I have talked to people about that strange conflict of thoughts. Most recently today with a friend who was called for jury duty. She texted me at the end of today and said, “I know exactly what you mean!” I don’t know what kind of case she was in the jury pool for, but she told me that she was chosen for the jury. I will be praying for her. You should remember her. If you don’t pray, then be glad in this case, an honest, kind person was chosen to wade through the good, the bad and the ugly that is a trial. People say there are many problems with our justice system, but today I see a good part.

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