Monday, April 28, 2008

Unchosen . . . Joy

The days of elementary school imprinted on my heart a desire to be chosen. As the captains of the week made their selections for whatever sport we happened to be playing at the time, I hoped with each passing moment that I would be the next person selected. Not being a great athlete, I relied solely on my relationship ties to get selected. And that didn't always go so well.

In the classroom, I wanted my teachers to select me to be the narrator (the character with the most lengthy passages) in everything we read. I hoped that my reading abilities would make me stand out as the clear choice for the role.

Fast forward twenty years. A jury summons arrived in my mailbox. And with all my being, I had ZERO desire to be chosen.

I realize that's not very "American." I recognize that it's my civic duty to vote and to serve on a jury. But I have this control issue and want to be able to go about my day without having to be "released" by someone for bathroom breaks and lunch breaks. I want to be able to plan my week, not wait each day to see if both sides are done presenting their evidence.

So this morning (a/k/a the date of doom), I woke up dreading the task at hand. I prayed that I would be as lucky as I was two years ago. On that day, when all the court assignments were made, I remained in the unassigned general jury pool and was allowed to read a book for half of the day without ever stepping foot into a courtroom or having to answer voir dire questions.

Imagine my chagrin this morning when not only was my name called, but I was assigned to a criminal district court and asked to complete a questionnaire that indicated the case might involve the aggravated sexual assault of a child. Upon completing the questionnaire, we were told to return about three hours later.

Most of the jurors were delighted upon hearing this news. They took the opportunity to stroll around downtown and grab a bite to eat. Meanwhile, I headed back to my office to work. And pray. I prayed for the defendant to plea bargain. Selfish, I know, but that's what I did.

We reported back at 1:00 for the official roll call. The bailiff made jokes and then announced that he had news. He thanked us for our "service" and told us that all the cases set for today had been pleaded during the interim. Woohoo! I shouted a praise, which a passerby might have confused with someone being acquitted of a horrendous crime. I was that relieved to not have to go through the process.

So, for today, I'm okay with not having been chosen--to serve on a jury, that is. And I am reveling in the God who hears me and taking comfort in His promises--that He has chosen me as one of His own.


Momma Bean said...

This one really made me giggle. I know exactly how you felt when the blessed news came.

Anonymous said...

Glad you didn't have to serve. Now I don't feel so bad about writer's group going over that additional 15 minutes. :)

Anonymous said...

Aww. I would love to hear what actually goes on behind the closed doors of the jury room. I can't figure their results out most of the time, so it would be helpful to figure out how they do what they do.

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

MB & SP - It was definitely a huge relief!

A - Maybe you'll be the lucky one who gets to serve on a jury some day.

Krista said...