Last November I received a jury duty notice, didn't think much about it and just put it on the calendar. I was to go the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Since I feel strongly that this is an honor and a privilege, I felt a little guilty that week when I went hoping that it would be short because after all, I had a holiday to prepare for. When I got there I realized that this was a notice for a Federal Grand Jury. We were shown a short video explaining exactly what we do and then shortly thereafter went to a courtroom where they randomly selected 23 people and then some alternates. For those of you who do not know exactly what a Federal Grand Jury is, I'll give you a little explanation of exactly what we do. We meet once a month for anywhere from 1 to 3 days and we hear a variety of cases ranging from Environmental cases, drug cases, immigration, firearms, and pretty much anything you can think of. Some cases we are asked immediately to Indict and other cases are ongoing that we hear from a few witnesses each month as they try to investigate whether or not there was any criminal activity. Not only is this a Grand Jury but I have been selected to be on a "Special" Grand Jury. Meaning they could extend my 18 month term for up to an additional 18 months. Isn't that special! I have now served 8 months of 18 month term. Only 10 months to go, not that I'm counting or anything.
I get such a variety of responses from people when I tell them I am on this. Some just kind of wondering what it is but a lot of people asking me if I could get out of this since I have 4 kids. Unfortunately to get out of it I would probably have to move out of the district. I do enjoy it and believe that if we want to have our judicial system work we need to be willing to be a part of it. No.... it's not always easy to ask around for people to watch my kids but it could be worse. At least the kids are at an easier age to send them off to people's houses and they aren't in school yet so I don't have to arrange for people to pick them up or bring them places. Anyone reading this that has watched the kids, please know that I truly appreciate it and you are also playing a part in our judicial system also. I also strongly believe that God has placed me on this jury for a reason and I often leave wondering what that reason is.
I really wish I could tell you all more information about these cases but unfortunately I can't. That is one of the more difficult things about it. There is one case in particular that for some weird reason I enjoy hearing, but it wears me out and puts such a heavy burden on my heart. Every month I leave and I wonder what God wants me to do with this information, why does He have me here? I truly wish I could explain this better and I am sorry if this sounds kind of like I'm rambling on but maybe someday I will be able to share more. I think about my past and as a teenager how easily influenced I was and that I could have easily fallen into the traps that other people have fallen into and still could. I am no better than any of these people. I am a sinner! Their sin is no worse than my sin. It has humbled me. I will often come home and think about some of these people and want to help them but I know that the only way to truly help them is to tell them about Jesus Christ. Maybe that is the reason God wants me there, to be more aware of the world around me and to be making more of an effort to be sharing the gospel. Sometimes I think we look at the world as hopeless and people that we shouldn't associate with but isn't that the opposite of what Jesus did. He went to the sinners and the hopeless and gave them hope!
I am truly thankful for Grace and Jesus Christ! I ask that you all keep me in your prayers as I continue in this, as I listen to some of these difficult testimonies. That I may also hear God's calling in this and have the courage to do whatever He calls me to do with all of this knowledge.
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—" Ephesians 2:1-5