Hope duty

I was called for jury duty today. I have never been asked to serve before. In the past, I never got this far. I think once they found out I was a pastor, they must have thought I was not a good choice. The media has not exactly presented us as normal people.

Today’s jury selection related to serving on the County Grand Jury. They help decide which cases will go toward an indictment. The jury works in a conference room and interviews police and other law officials determining which cases should be tried.

The whole process was interesting as 61 of us were called into the courtroom to be interviewed by the judge. We were all given numbers and the rest of the morning I was referred to as juror number 5. We came from all walks of life, various ethnicities, various ages. It was a variety of folks.

The first set of questions were asked concerning what kinds of issues we might have that could prevent us from serving. These questions related to things like health issues, economic issues, and more.

I was intrigued by the various issues these folks faced. Some of them were single parents trying to raise their children. Some were the only ones in their household working.

Some were taking care of someone who were incapacitated. Some were going through painful situations like surgeries or unemployment or emotional turmoil.

By the time the morning was over, I felt a great deal of empathy for these folks. Sure, I preferred not to serve based on my hectic schedule, but I am not facing what these folks are facing.

My petty excuses for not serving (although I wanted to use them) were not only invalid (based on what the judge mentioned), but were actually inappropriate as well. Hearing about the journeys of these folks was eye opening.

It actually reminded me how thankful I am. I have been so blessed in my life and the challenges I have in my life don’t appear as huge. Actually, what I mean is that I realized the resources I have in my life that some don’t have.

I have an incredible wife, some fantastic kids, grandkids on the way, friends, a great job, a comfortable home and lots of support. And of course, best yet, is the relationship I have with God.

It also reminded me how little hope there is in the world. I have an opportunity and more pointedly a responsibility to spread hope to others. That’s it! That is what I learned today.

No matter what I face each day, I have hope. I intend to spread it to the people I meet down at the courthouse as juror number 5!

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