Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Traveling through jury duty

So I know that God shops in the produce area, I've bumped in to Him plenty there; the man shopping for his stage four breast cancer wife, Maria who just felt that she knew she had cancer, and of course my strawberries and soy milk little lady. But He goes to jury duty too? Yes I traveled to jury duty today. I spent the morning in a chair listening to names being called and working on a project for my retreat in December.  When the announcement came for lunch break I eagerly jumped up, well not literally my foot is causing me so much pain…., but figuratively I jumped up and hobbled to the cafeteria. 

A lady was staring at the lunch menu and I was staring at the huge crowd already in line.  I asked her if she was staying there for lunch or using some of the two hours we were given to go down a block or so to restaurants.  After a little chat, we headed out the doors. She walked slow for me, adding that she knew the pain of plantar fasciitis all to well. We landed in a over-packed place and found a tiny table for two, not good for space but great for conversation.  In talking to each other we found out we both are native San Antonians, two years apart. We both have been divorced and have someone wonderful in our lives now, and they both work at Lackland AFB! Her married name is Gomez, I worked for a company with that name, my foot was killing me, she works for a podiatrist and gave me great tips for healing.  We are both close to our moms, have a daughter about the same age, oh and did I mention we both had breast cancer? Oh and we both had the same surgeon? 

She battled breast cancer just as she turned 40, when she was pregnant.  I couldn't even find words to speak when she said that. She had surgery while pregnant, and remembers and felt quite a bit of it as they didn't sedate her as heavily as they did me.  After she had her son, she continued her treatment and had radiation and a new born at the same time.  I really felt small for thinking how radiation made me tired, and my skin burned, and my ribs ache, I wasn't trying to hold a newborn….wow. There’s that perspective yet again.  She told me how blessed she feels to have had her healthy son despite all that she was going through, and still feels blessed today. We finished lunch and hobbled, very slowly, back to the dungeon jury room.  We sat together and continued our conversation.  She reached in her bag, handed me a book, and said I want you to have this.  The title of the book is “I’m Not Finished, A Journey of Inspiration and Courage down the Road of Cancer.”

As we settled in for the long afternoon, and panels were being called regularly, around three my name was called for a panel.  I limped to the hallway, stood for almost an hour, and then was told they only needed the first 26 people, I was happy to be #54!  Back the jury dungeon we went and I dragged the foot back to where we were sitting. She was gone.  I spent that last hour alone, reading through the book and later came across a quote the author referenced, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware,” Martin Buber. I was the traveler today.

When they started to release us they called us each by name, and then they called hers, she never responded. Just like that, poof, gone. I had been postponed for jury duty, I wasn’t supposed to be there today but couldn't help but think how God calls us each by name and places us right where we need to be, when we need to be there. This was my destination today, and yes, God goes to jury duty too. 

God's Country...Lost Maples State Park, I look this last Friday, inspiration is all around me.