I was recently dismissed from jury duty. I had spent the better part of two days going through the selection process and one of the lawyers thought I should be eliminated. So now I am home and able to reflect upon my experience. I don’t know that I learned a lot of new information, but several old truths were underlined to me. One, is that no one wants to serve on a jury. Two, strangers can quickly become friends when put into long hours together. I met three new people and had several nice conversations. Three, no one wants to serve on jury. Finally, if you live in Homer Alaska there is a pretty good chance that you are self-employed.
There was one thing that stood out to me in this process, besides the courts need for better organization. As we went through the selection process each person had to tell about themselves. I quickly noticed how few people have “traditional families.” We had single moms and single dads plus a widower in the panel. We had people who were living together, people who were married and one man said he had a “life partner” and a couple were single. One man said he and his wife were separated. Another man stated that he and his wife were adopting a baby. I overheard a conversation in which he told another person that a baby girl had come through foster care and their was no indication that she would ever be able to return home so they decided to keep her. One lady had 8 kids from age 30 something to age 8 or 9. I heard about 30 people tell their story and only four or five were what I would call a “traditional family” with a husband, wife and 2.3 children. Maybe that is a reflection on Alaska or maybe just Homer, but it might be a reflection on America or even the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of these people. I am not saying I am superior to them or that everyone needs to live the way I do. I was simply reminded that everyone is unique. They are unique in their background, their family, their experiences, the way they raise their kids and in almost every way you can think of.
I was blessed by my time with the jury if for no other reason than to be reminded of what the world is really like compared to me. The truth is that information should affect my relationships and they way I treat other people as a Christian and as a Pastor.


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