“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.