Today is going to be in odd day for me. I was called on Friday and was told that I am required to appear in court this afternoon. This will be my first time serving as a witness on a murder trial, or a witness to anything for that matter.
It is surreal remembering back about three and a half years ago to when I was sitting in my friend Pat’s office discussing jury duty.
Everyone I ever talk to says that they try to avoid jury duty. The particular day I was called for jury duty I decided I was not going to try to get out of it. As it turned out I was selected to serve as a juror on a civil case. The case that I served on was a short one, and to be honest I wouldn’t have minded it going longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would not hesitate to do it again. So if you get that dreaded letter in the mail, just suck it up! You might actually enjoy it and at the very least you will probably learn something about our legal system. OK…let me climb down off that soap box.
So, back to my story. I was in his office around the corner from the church, and we were discussing jury duty and how it wasn’t all that bad. He told me that he had also served as a juror on a case and enjoyed it as well. For the next fifteen minutes of so we talked about the ins and outs of the cases that we served on.
At that moment I could not have predicted that 3 1/2 years later I would be called back in to court, not as a juror but as a witness at his murder trial.
I am not really sure what to expect today. I hope that I do a good job. I hope that I speak honestly and that somehow my testimony helps the truth of this situation to come out.
Pat could be facing up to 45 years in prison. I guess they could give him more than that, but that was what the plea bargain was for. The amazing thing is that regardless of the outcome of this trial I know that my friend is free. In fact he’s more free than he’s ever been.
Although he is physically locked up I know that he has a personal relationship with God unlike any that he has ever had on the outside. That gives him a freedom that no one can ever take away!
At this point I’m not trying to imply whether he’s guilty or not, but I know that this an incredibly difficult time for him. I can only relate it to Psalm 23:4 where it mentions going through the “valley of the shadow of death.” It is also very difficult for his entire family and everyone involved. The one thing that I do know is that the end of that verse says that we don’t need to fear evil because God is with us. I know that God is with Pat. He will also be with me. He will be with the family. He is also with you no matter what you are facing in your life.