O V E R T H I N K I N G
often leads to
E X C E S S I V E
if not in fact
O B S E S S I V E
OVER FEELING. . .
Have you ever gotten THAT dreaded piece of mail
that tells you that you are to report to the Courthouse on such and such a date
OR ELSE. . .
When I first received it I made the call and begged off because of an already planned/paid for short vacation after Easter. . .
They told me that was completely understandable and that they would re-schedule me and I got yet another notice to appear
OR ELSE. . .
So fearing/respecting the
I appeared this past Monday and after more than half of a day of reading a most awesome book
(YES, YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY READ THIS BOOK)
My name was called
(very poorly mispronounced)
I went up to the Courtroom with about 25 others and actually sat in the Juror’s box
(I was Proud Juror #6)
for a day and a half
and answered questions from the Judge, The Prosecutor and the Defense Lawyer, I thought quite thoroughly, intelligently and sincerely. I even added complimentary comments when the entire group was posed a question or a ‘what-if’ kind of scenario. . .
I had mixed feelings about even being a Juror just because of the time element and actually going to work at a job I like, enjoy, and hopefully enhance. . .
But now in the Box and hearing the compliments of how being a Juror was only second to serving our country in the military, and even further being complimented when I informed the Court that if this case were to carry over into the next week, I had made arrangements to change a previous speaking engagement.
I was asked by the Prosecutor about this blog, THE CARING CATALYST and what I was attempting to do by writing it three times a week and when I responded to hopefully make us not only more aware that we are a Caring/Compassionate lot but also how to become even more so for the good of others and even our own individual selves; he told me what a great venture and wished me luck. . .
And then at approximately 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon after dismissing at least 10 other jurors and questioning 10 others, he paused and said,
“Mr. Behrens, we appreciate you service and respectfully dismiss you at this time.”
WAIT. . .
WHAT. . .
You’re DISMISSING me. . .
I almost blurted, “There must be some mistake. . .”
Instead, I mumbled out, “The honor was mine, thank you for the opportunity.”
The Judge let me out his little back door, shook my hand, and expressed his personal thanks for being in a position where I might have taken care of some of his family and personal friends as a Chaplain at Hospice of the Western Reserve. . .
and then, like that, I was riding down the Elevator of shame back to the Juror’s Pool to be chosen and possibly rejected yet again, when I was met by a young man with a paisley bow tie who, too, thanked me for my time and let me know that my services would no longer be needed the rest of the week as he handed me my Juror’s Diploma
O U C H
Dissed twice in a matter of five minutes. . .
I was reeling as I took the walk to my $13.00 dollar a day parking lot where my car even seemed to hide from me in shame. . .
How. . .HOW COULD THIS BE?
Who. . .WHO WOULDN’T WANT ME ON THEIR JURY?
Was I too polite
Wat I overdressed (just wearing business casual while others jean and sweat pants it)
Was I too compassionate
Was I too empathetic
Was I too sympathetic
Was I too Caring
Was I too knowledgeable
Was I too opinionated
Was I too impartial
Was I too biased
Was I too unfeeling
Was I too INTO IT
WHAT. . .WHAT. . .W H A T ?
It’s true. . .
I didn’t want to go;
I didn’t want to be there
even as I drove there Monday morning
but when I was in that Box, I was
I didn’t sleep good Tuesday night
I ranted to my poor co-workers on Wednesday at David Simpson Hospice House
and then after our long team meeting and Rounds
I do what I do best:
shouted to me
this is why I am here
and not THERE
She asked me, “why am I afraid to die if I believe I’m going to heaven?”
He asked me, “if we all have to die, why can’t we all just die peacefully in our sleep without any struggles or terrible diseases.”
She asked me, “Will I see the face of Jesus?”
And it wasn’t so much what I said so much as that I was just
not at the Courthouse in a Juror’s box or a Juror’s waiting room but
T H E R E
not just with random patients, but
T H E S E
to hear the questions and to not blink,not turn away, not judge, not decide, not to hypothesize, suppose, ruminate or theologize or ‘there, there‘ them. . .
but just to be there
holding space. . .
I can’t think
what I think
until I think
As I write this blog,
two days after being DISMISSED
I can think what I THUNK:
It’s a lie:
It’s not that it’s darkest before the dawn
Charlie Brown’s Teacher talk Wha wha wha whaaaaaaaing that brings us
so much as the fact that
there’s never been a dark night (of the Soul)
that’s lasted forever;
now. . .
what’s been THUNK
but needs RE-THUNKING
t h a t
and the message that coursed itself through
T H A T
book, ORDINARY GRACES
which quoted Aeschylus in the beginning and then explained its meaning throughout the novel. . .
It’s a quote that is also on the tombstone of Robert F. Kennedy:
“AND EVEN IN OUR SLEEP PAIN THAT CANNOT FORGET, FALLS DROP BY DROP UPON THE HEART, AND IN OUR OWN DESPITE, AGAINST OUR WILL, COMES WISDOM TO US BY THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD,”
Y e a h. . .
what’s been thunk
needs re-thunking. . .