When Right Now is Just Right

by | Feb 26, 2013 | Uncategorized


“Number 86,” calls the court clerk from behind a small podium at the front of the quiet room. The judge sits elevated behind her, draped in black, reading glasses resting on the end of his nose. I stand up behind a roomful of seated strangers in the back of the room and tell her what she wants to know.

“I’m a freelance writer, I’m married and my husband is an Anglican priest,” I say. The clerk stares at me for a moment, like she’s mesmerized by a pendulum swinging above my head.

“Ok, thank you,” she responds and looks down at her list.

She continues calling random numbers and a woman wearing a brace wrapped around her mid-section stands and leans on a cane. “Unemployed and single,” she responds.

“What did you do before becoming unemployed,” the clerk asks.

And so the process goes, one by one each of the sixty-something people in the room take their turn as potential jurors.

A tall, lanky man wearing an orange gingham shirt the size of a table cloth stands and looks down. His hands tremble. He tells the judge he had brain surgery recently and this process is making him nervous.  He feels unfit to serve as a juror because he still has seizures.

“We can deal with seizures,” the judge tells him in an educated southern twang. “We’ve done that before.” And the young man, he sits back down, hangs his head over his lap.

Two chairs away in the same row, a scruffy man with salt and pepper strands hanging below his collar, leans on the chair in front of him. Says he’s disabled due to an injury at work; jokes about having seven children. When he sits back down, his arms spread like wings over the empty chair backs on either side. He smiles sideways at a man nearby.


Two questions to define someone, three if you answer married. What kind of work do you do? Are you married? What does your spouse do for employment? That’s it.

I wonder how Esther might have responded to those questions when summoned by the King. Orphan and single?

There isn’t a steeple overhead and we’re not sitting on pews but I’m seeing a picture of His church. A gathering of His beloved:  the broken, the discarded, and the destitute in need of a Savior. I don’t have a pulpit but I want to get up and tell them that they aren’t defined by a number, a job description, an illness, an injury or a marital status.

And neither are you. Like Esther, you are more, so much more.

But I have to be quiet and proper, so I look over at the woman seated next to me and smile. Her eyes widen when they meet mine. On a break, we learn we have a girlfriend in common, our boys are the same age, and they share the same birthday.

And the wise words of Mordecai spoken to to his cousin Esther echo in my mind, “What’s more, who can say that you have been elevated to the palace {courtroom, church, job, community} for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)


Because sometimes God has you right where you are, not for the place, position, or circumstance, but for the message He wants you to deliver.

And one day He may seat you right next to the only person in a room of strangers whose son shares the same birthday as yours, just to let you know you are right where you need to be. Even when you’re fulfilling  jury duty.

Have you ever doubted your circumstances? What is the message God is giving you to share right where you are?

Linking with Laura, Jen, Heather, Holley, and Jennifer.

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. Lyli Dunbar

    Oh, Shelly, what a convicting post this is! Praying for God to give me His eyes to see others not as the world defines them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Shelly Miller

      What a lovely prayer Lyli. May He answer the cry of your heart to see.

  2. Dena Dyer

    Great post, Shelly. I’m going to share it this week on the “featured” page at the High Calling. 🙂 Congrats on your #goodwork! (from Dena Dyer)

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks so much Dena, so grateful to be among such lovely people over at The High Calling.

  3. Cooking Up Faith

    What is the message God is giving you to share right where you are? I love this question you asked because opportunity is all around us. We don’t have to look far . I love 2 Timothy 4:2 that tells us to preach and share God’s Word in season and out, whenever we get the chance, when convenient and when it’s not. Thank you for your encouraging words.
    Maple Mae

    • Shelly Miller

      The opportunities are all around us aren’t they? I know for me, I get caught up in my surroundings too often, living in the future instead of right now. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  4. Diane Bailey

    Don’t you just love “God Moments’ in peculiar places?

    And I do wonder about the interview Ester had before she was selected.

    • Shelly Miller

      I do love them. And I think they are always there if I’m expectant, then I notice them. I have lots of questions regarding details that aren’t in the stories of the Bible. But maybe that is the point, we don’t need to know everything. Sometimes its good to leave room for the imagination.

  5. Jennifer Camp

    Shelly, I felt like I was right there with you, sitting on the bench, walking forward, standing in front of the judge, taking it all in. What a beautiful writer you are. I am so grateful for how you so beautifully and powerfully share the lens He has given you of the world.

    • Shelly Miller

      A writer couldn’t ask for a better compliment Jennifer, thank you for your encouraging words. I think that is definitely one of your gifts.

  6. Debbie Petras

    Shelly this was beautiful! Even while fulfilling jury duty you find a spiritual lesson. Have I ever doubted my circumstances? Yes I have. But then I find many examples of exactly what you’ve been writing about. When a little girl asks me who created God in a school that is not Christian. When a co-worker cries about her life and doesn’t know where to turn. When a teacher asks me to pray for her. I may not have asked for my circumstances but I know I am where God would have me to be right now. And I choose to embrace that and look around me to the hurting, the ones who just might need the love of Jesus.

    Blessings and love,

    • Shelly Miller

      I know you are such a blessing to those precious kids Debbie. Love your attitude. And maybe we will always have a bit of discontent about our circumstances until we get to heaven. 🙂

  7. Sylvia R @ sylvrpen.com

    Ever doubted my circumstances? Oh dear! That’s just what I’ve been doing! Ack! Thanks for this. God is settling down all-stirred-up doubtful me with messages like this in cyberspace. Thanks much, Shelly, for… being His messenger. (smile)

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanking God with you Sylvia, for the gentle way He speaks, just when we need it.

  8. Rina Peru

    This is beautiful. I like it. I dream of traveling far and wide to share the Gospel but so far, what the Lord has allowed me to do is just write and blog at home, for I can’t even walk the distance to our bathroom due to a lingering illness. And though I can’t ride jet planes yet, I hand a Church invitation to the vendor of boiled corn, or to the security guard of a small restaurant who so kindly provided a table for this family whose mother can’t walk, and to the lone girl sitting next to our table… Yes, we can be Esthers anytime, anywhere, because the Lord has willed it!

    Visiting from The Extraordinary Ordinary :).


    • Shelly Miller

      Love your attitude Rina. I think we could all learn from you. So glad you stopped by to brighten up this place.

  9. alecia

    I’m going through the Beth Moore’s bible study on Esther right now. I’ve loved the words “For such a time as this.”Esther was beauty, brains, and courage wrapped up in one, such a cool woman. And those moments you mentioned about God letting you know you are right where you need to be, are moments to live for. I think we need those moments for encouragement on the journey

    • Shelly Miller

      I agree Alecia those ;moments keep us going don’t they? And Esther is such an inspiration.

  10. Kris Camealy

    This gave me goosebumps. Thank you Shelly.

    • Shelly Miller

      Aw, thanks Kris. Always love seeing you in the comments.

  11. Joy Lenton

    Just beautiful, Shelly. You draw us so powerfully and evocatively into the scene here. We are so much more than names, numbers and jobs. So much more than society wants to define us as. Many times in the last few years I have had great reason to question my circumstances. Why this? Why now? Why here? I feel the message God is giving me is “Why not? I made you and I know where and how you are most effective for my Kingdom. Just trust Me.” Hard as it may be at times, this is what I am trying to do. Thank you for adding further encouragement in this great post to aid me on that journey. Bless you 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Love that Joy! Amen and yes, why not?

  12. Pamela Hodges

    WOW. Loved it. Who will I sit beside tonight?

    • Shelly Miller

      Love the way you are thinkin’ Pamela.

  13. Amy

    Thank you for reminding me that I am more that the labels the world may try to assign to me. I love the message of Esther and how she was ‘promoted’ by God to be in the position He needed her to be. I must wait on His plan and His timing without concern of other’s judgement.

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, you are Amy. So much more than those labels. I’m glad you were reminded of that here.

  14. dukeslee

    I love you can see the God Stories wherever they are. You have a gift, my friend …. I’ve never served on a jury. My sister had to serve last year on a jury for a murder trial. Very intense, as you might imagine.

    • Shelly Miller

      I can still say, I’ve never served on a jury. I wasn’t picked but I have to admit I kind of hoped I would be just for the experience. Thanks for your encouragement and tweet share Jennifer. You bless me.

  15. Jessica @ AdjustingToTheWorld

    Yes, yes, YES. I am in one of those places right now – wondering why me, why now, and why, why, WHY are things not progressing like I want them to. Though it’s all good things that preoccupy my mind, it’s still a rough place to be. Thank you for the reminder this morning that where I am is right where God wants me, for however long He wants me here.

    • Shelly Miller

      I’ve been there lately too Jessica. Glad to know I’m in good company. I often live in the future when I’m not happy with where I am and then I miss what he has right in front of me.

  16. Megan Willome

    “We can deal with seizures. We’ve done that before.”–that’s my favorite part of this story. It just really touches me.

    • Shelly Miller

      I know Megan, his response was kind of shocking I have to admit.

  17. floyd

    There are no coincidences in God’s economy. Only disobedience and wisdom being learned on the parts of the players. May our eyes be opened to see the things the way our Father does… and obedience in the meantime…

    • Shelly Miller

      Floyd, you are so right, no coincidences in God’s economy.

  18. Cindee Snider Re

    Shelly, this is WONDERFUL! Such a beautiful picture of the “church” of God flowing out of the hearts of His children wherever and however He leads them.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you Cindee, God redeemed the time I thought I was “wasting”.

  19. Michele-Lyn

    You’ve confirmed so many things in my heart with this write, and stirred some anew, also. What a gifted writer you are to be able to take such an ordinary story, make is extraordinary and use it for His glory and to minister to His people. Thank you, friend. So beautiful.

    • Shelly Miller

      What a gift to find confirmation here, thanks for this Michele-Lyn. Appreciate what you said and honored to watch God working in our life.

  20. Leelee

    Over and over in this current season of my life, God has confirmed that I am exactly where He wants me to be. I don’t always see how or why, but posts like this help point me in the right direction.

    • Shelly Miller

      That is a gift Leelee. To have that confirmation and to be alert enough to the Spirit to recognize it.

  21. soulstops

    Just the message I needed…Thank you, Shelly 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Grateful for grace Dolly. So glad you stopped by. I got your tweet. Did you end up getting the post okay on your phone after all?

      • soulstops

        I went on my laptop instead 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Love seeing you here Amy, you bless me.

  22. Laura Boggess

    What a blessing you must be, Shelly–in any room full of people. How you shine.

  23. Michelle DeRusha

    What a great story, Shelly. I was right there in that courtroom with you.

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