Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God in the Jury Room

As you've probably guessed, this post has nothing to do with writing my memoir, "righting" my life, or my desire to share my experiences of same with you.  It has to do with my experience as a juror just  yesterday.  More than eight times I've been summoned for jury duty, either at the federal or state level.  Not once have I ever been seated, most likely because at the time I was employed as a legal secretary.  Attorneys don't like legal secretaries or other law firm employees sitting on their juries! 

However, now that I'm retired this was my second summons to duty, and I was seated on a six-person jury to hear a drunk driving case.  Not as exciting as some complex piece of litigation surrounding contracts or business disputes or even neighborly disputes, but important at any rate, as justice must be served. 

The prosecution and defense attorneys made opening statements, called and questioned witnesses, and then made closing arguments.  Each was convinced and had efficiently pled their case.  Now the judge has instructed the jury in its duties for finding the defendant guilty or not guilty.  Obviously, the State was hoping for a guilty verdict as one of its laws had been broken according to the Prosecuting Attorney.  On the other hand, the defendant and his attorney were hoping for a not guilty verdict.  Each had stood before us and stated the "facts" and shown us the "evidence." 

The six of us were adjourned to the jury room to deliberate.  I knew in my heart that this young man wasn't guilty based on the evidence and facts stated by the Prosecuting Attorney.  The law required that the individual charged with driving under the influence be on a public traffic way while intoxicated and that his blood alcohol at that time be 0.08%.  The Prosecuting Attorney couldn't show us that this was accurate.  Four of six jurors agreed; two were hold outs.  What to do?

I knew that God was with me yesterday; He is every day.  So, I prayed that He would take control of our deliberations and lead us to the right decision.  God's powerful presence took over that room and the minds in it, and in the end we reached a mutual decision of not guilty.  I firmly believe that God was in our decision based on the following verse of Scripture:

"Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your
believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God."
Matthew 21:21 (The Message)

It is my continuing prayer that you will make everything in your life, small to large, a part of your daily prayer life.  God wants to hear our prayers.

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