Jury Duty… dunt dunt duhhhhh

Well … today is day 2 of my stint as an official jury candidate in Hamilton County, Ohio. I am not a juror yet… I just sit in the “jury room” and wait to see if they call my name to join an official jury. I won’t lie – every time they come in and call out a list of names and my fellow jury candidates get up and go with the bailiff to perform their civic duty – I feel a tinge of diappointment and hurt that I wasn’t called… Why not me I want to shout… Why must I sit here in this uncomfortable room, where it is about 10 degrees to warm, and has a slight odor of socks and Avon perfume…

The reality is – if I do get selected – I am also the same person that will probably feel that tinge of “OH NO! What if this trial lasts a really long time… What if I am sequestered and have to be a part from my family!! What if its a case that takes months!” Yes… I am insane. I realize this now and must embrace the reality of my topsy turvy brain.

In reality, if I am really truly honest, I am glad I got the jury summons. Yes I love to joke about it and yes it is quite inconvenient to be sitting here when I have so much to do… But I have never been selected for jury duty before and there is this sense of civic pride that welled up when I got my summons. I mean – this i the greatest justice system in the world… and I am now officially part of the process and I didn’t have to get arrested to experience it! Granted – if after 2 weeks my only experience has only been sitting in this less than luxurious waiting room, I will certainly feel disappointed. But practically everyone I have spoken to says there is no way a pastor will get picked for a jury – especially one whose wife is an attorney – so I am keeping my expectations low.

I am praying that there is even a greater reason I am here ultimately. Maybe it’s to talk with someone – even if it’s the guy who keeps muttering to himself and for some reason I cannot understand smells like a bag of the chlorine you dump in a pool. I’ve had a couple of surface chats with people – about the weather and such… A couple of them asked me the question about “what I do for a living” and both on hearing I was a pastor politely found new interest in the books they had brought with me…

Maybe this process will just be God’s desire for me to slow down for a couple of weeks… to force me to let go of things and give him control… to lay down pride and step into submission to Him…

Nothing to do now but wait… See you soon – but hopefully not if you are a defendant in a trial I am picked for!

Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – wherever it has been – Eastside is different.

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