Many people were praying for me yesterday as I participated in the jury process in Atlantic City. I had several legitimate reason's that would have allowed me to "get off" - to get out of the process of serving. But in praying over it, I really felt God asking me to follow through even though God knew what a 'hurdle' that was for me to climb over. For three weeks ahead of time I was very nervous about just getting there on time and to the right place. God in His mercy, provided my transportation. Just a few days before Easter I asked the LORD to take away my anxiety and replace it with His peace. He did just that. I told several people that I believed God wanted me to go there for "something" He had planned. Of course I thought it might be for some important case that might need my discernment. [You can laugh now]!
God did want me there, but for a very simple thing. I was one of the first of 130 people to get a badge and sit down to wait. When the line was almost done (this took 2 hours) an older lady came over and sat next to me. She had stumbled a bit when she climbed over me to find a seat. When she sat down she sighed deeply. I could see she was a bit frail and I asked her if she was OK. She told me that she had fallen outside - during the long walk from the parking garage to the courthouse. I gasped and asked what had happened. "I tripped and fell on the sidewalk," was her reply. Then she waited in that line for those 2 hours to be processed. I asked her where she hit when she fell and she proceeded to pull back her hair along her temple. To my horror there was a golf ball size egg on her head that was all purple. She had not told anyone what had happened. I told her to sit still and I would get an ice pack for her. It took a few minutes before the Sheriff on duty was able to bring a paramedic officer with an ice pack. Her husband had driven her there and was waiting outside in the hall. They took her information and then told her to sit back down. She was shy and embarrassed but I tried to make her feel better and as we talked she told me that her husband was a pastor and he was writing his sermon while in the waiting area. Finally, the head of jury management, a very kind man, came out and told her she was free to go. She was 74 years old. She thanked me and then disappeared holding the ice pack next to her temple.
I then sat through several hours under two different judges waiting to be selected at random. While all those around me were hoping not to be selected, I kept praying silently, LORD, please let them pick me, please, please, please, O please? I want to serve! God had other plans.
I never did get selected and my jury service is now officially over for another 3 years. God did not put me there for some grandiose task that day. He just asked me to show kindness when I saw a need. Her name was Barbara. Now I will pray for her as I see her gentle frail face in my mind. I can still hear her sweet voice.
Jesus summed it up well when He spoke of what God expects of us as believers:
Matthew 22: 36-40
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." [emphasis mine]
What a privilege we have to be Jesus' hands and feet - even in the most simple task. His love compels us!