prayer in a jury selection pool


Lord, I don’t want to be here! But, here I am. Did you have something to do with that? What am I to learn? To see and be? To show? Couldn’t that happen elsewhere?

What’s that, Lord? I can learn to wait? Well, I’m tempted to say “re-learn,” but no, you’re right. I mean, have I ever really learned to wait well? Ha!

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for slowing me down by what I think is a “disruption” or “interruption” to what I thought would be best for me this day.

Yes, Lord? I can show interest in where I am and come to be more present in this moment? Oh, every moment. Really aware and in tune and not wander in thought or long for distraction, wishing for elsewhere to be?

Thank you, Lord. Yes, if I’m here, I really ought to “be here;” fully here.

What’s that, Lord? There’s more? You say I can grow in being aware of the shoes that others wear? You mean like the defendant’s shoes? The shoes of the judge? The prosecutor? The defense attorney? The bailiff? The clerk? The dozens who wait with me in shoes somewhat like my own, but all different?

Hmmmm? Say again? All these shoes have a body, soul, and spirit? A heart? A life? They’re dear to you? Precious?

Yes. Why yes, they do; they surely are.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for helping me to see people a bit more clearly, not just “life,” but beings. Thank you for helping me to remember that everyone isn’t just like me. Doesn’t think like me. Doesn’t come from where I came or start with what I started. Doesn’t assume what I assume or necessarily value what I value. Why, look at all the “differents” in this room, Lord! It is a sea of white, and yet now I see all kinds of “colors.” And they all matter mightily to you! Thank you, Lord; thank you for opening my eyes a bit more.

Show what, Lord? Show I care? Care by showing interest and care for others? Show that by what my expression communicates to the defendants as they turn and scan the crowd, looking to see who it is who judges them and determines their fate? Show it to the judge as his eyes scan the room searchingly for just one face turned toward him and not given to returning his search with a vacant stare? Show it to the bailiff, to whom hardly no one speaks? Show it by refusing to join in with the mumbling and grumbling of those nearby over having to be here? Show it when I leave by expressing gratitude to all who serve our society in work that must be done, but is often gut-wrenching?

Yes, Lord – I can do that. Help me to that end, please.

Oh, and thank you, Lord. Yes, truly – thank you for this place and time.