We sat there, all of us potential jurors. There were about 100 of us who drew the short straws, whose group was not ticked off the list. I sat with my Kleenex and stuffy nose and heard others hack and cough. There was one loud talker, as it seems there always is. He sat in the front row and we heard his whole life story told to the hapless man next to him. Maybe it started with a comment, and that was all it took to throw open the gateway of conversation, albeit one-sided. But that was okay, he gave us all something to listen to as the minutes ticked by.
The clerk came in and we all watched a video about what an honor it is to serve on a jury. And really, it is. And yes, I do take it for granted. We all do. I complained about going, I got up early on my day off. I put makeup on, selected a nice outfit and drove the 30 minutes to a small town east of me. A depressing town, really. The main source of work are the several prisons there. Yet on the perimeter of my heart the question taunted me, haunted me really. What if it was someone I loved on trail? What if it was me? What if there were no one to stand for you? What if you were innocent? What if you weren’t?
When we finally got up to the courtroom they began the selection process. One by one names were called. Down to the last 26. I wasn’t among them. The rest of us sighed almost collectively when the last name was called. Now began the questions. We weren’t off the hook yet. We all sat through several rounds of questions given to the 26 selected. A few were eliminated, so three more names were called from our group to replace them. Still wasn’t me.
Then came questions from prosecution……then defense.
We heard stories, lots of them from the prospective jurors. Things came out. One woman found it hard to talk when she was asked if she had ever known anyone personally who had been arrested. She had to put a restraining order out on her abusive husband. And he came for her and held her at gunpoint. The SWAT team had to be called. I could tell it all came back to her…….all that heartache.
What I came away with was this:
All this procedure for a theft. And yes, it is right. It is just. It is how we do things in our country. It’s how we do justice.
But for many in other countries, and this one too, there is no justice at all. I am thinking about the African Bloggers today. I am thinking of the things they have seen over there. The people they have met. Where is the justice for all those children who have no parents. Who stood for them when their parents were mercilessly killed? Who stands for them now? Where is the justice for the 1,000,000 who were murdered? Who will stand up for them? Well, I can tell you there are people who stand for them now, who want to make a difference, who are making a difference. Read about one such group right here. Read all their updates, I know you will be moved.
Someone has given these precious children in Africa Hope. Hope with a big “H.” For the first time in their lives, they have a heritage. They have a family.They know that someone cares very much what happened to their parents, for He was watching, and He will never forget. And when He hands out justice, it will be swift. It will be right. It will be final.
Someone is also giving them Hope so they in turn can give that Hope to others. Now they know they have a Dad who is so big that He can swallow up all the sorrow they ever held. For good.
There are all kinds of unfair things that happen everyday. Maybe you are one to whom life has been very unfair. I can tell you one thing that will make a big difference if you accept it. There was one very unfair thing that happened around 2000 years ago. The King of Kings willingly died a criminal death. He was put on a trial that wasn’t even a real trial. There was no jury selection of His peers. You would have had to call down Angels for that. Yes, God Himself was there, and the Holy Spirit was uttering the few Words He would say then. But no words could have ever saved Him.
He died so that we might have the justice that we don’t deserve. He died and rose again so that we might receive new life and a new heritage. And life with Him forever for in a perfect world, a world very unlike this one. Read Romans 5:6-10
Amidst the turbulence and heartache everywhere, there is One who embodies Hope. That’s our story, that’s our message. Blogging and writing is our way of holding up the light of Jesus to a weary world who needs Him more than ever.
Bring Him into your daily mess. Nothing scares Him.