Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
Busy day. Three meetings back to back, 1, 3, and 5. I worked from 7:30 to 8:30 today. Some days are like that. But, today was unique in one way. Not many days do you get to pay back a favor owed for many years. The story goes like this: Over ten years ago, I received a jury summons. I was willing to do my civic duty, but on the Friday before the Monday I was to appear, a dear friend died unexpectedly. By the time Monday rolled around, I was a mess. Still, I showed up for jury selection for what was going to be a civil trial. A young woman with no health insurance suffered from an eye injury. She sued a company that provided insurance for injuries received during after school activities. The debate was over the cause of her problems. Even her own doctors could not say they knew for sure. At jury selection, I was honest with the attorneys. I said that my friend had just died, the funeral was on Wednesday, I really really wanted to go to the services and I didn’t think I could help in making sure justice was served because I was so distracted. The darn attorneys chose me for the case anyway. I stewed about it that day and the next trying my best to listen carefully and be impartial even though I was upset at being chosen. But, Wednesday morning, I came prepared with a note to the judge which I gave to a bailiff to give to him. In it, I said that the funeral was that afternoon and that if it was at all possible I would like to be excused in time to attend. I never got a response to my request, but continued listening and weighing the case all morning and afternoon. A few minutes before the time I needed to leave, the judge stated that he was calling a recess and court would resume the next morning. He never acknowledged my note, but gave a slight nod in my direction as he made his pronouncement so I knew it was for me. I was able to make it to the funeral and help to comfort my friend’s husband and young son. I have appreciated his kindness to this day. Tonight, I went to a presentation and reception for a work event and ran into the judge’s son who is running for a local government position. I don’t know him well, but know him enough to ascertain that he is as kind and caring as his dad. I took the time to introduce him to some influential people who were there that may be able to help him in his campaign. What goes around comes around. I was glad it was payback time. In the same way, God’s kindness to us leads us to be kind to others. We can never pay Him back for His gifts to us, but we can sure try.