It’s a miracle my brain isn’t fried after all the events that have occurred since last Thursday. Between the cruise, getting back to NC, having little sleep, and jury duty today… I’m mush.
There will definitely be a forthcoming post about the cruise, I just don’t have the brain power to handle organizing all of that on here right now. There are pictures and some video on my facebook though…
Today I had jury duty. Hooray. I was originally summoned for Monday, August 10. That wasn’t really going to work considering at 8:00AM I’d still be on a cruise ship and the rest of the day I’d be in a car heading back to North Carolina. Thankfully I got it changed to today. Sat around for a while, got called in the first group of potential jurors for a civil case, sat through questioning after questioning after questioning and at 3:30… After THREE DAYS of questioning potential jurors, they finally had their 12 and an alternate. And thankfully… I’m not one of them. 🙂
I wasn’t really sure what to expect today. I was intrigued by the thought of being on a jury, not a fan of the jury selection process though. That can last FOREVER. If I had been picked, it would have been hard to be on a case that would go into next week considering workdays start soon and I have a lot of work ahead of me. Throughout the day, however, one thing stuck with me that they presented during the orientation. They highlighted a program that the state has for serving and protecting children in court which members of the public can volunteer for as a guardian ad litem. I’ve heard the term before and hadn’t really associated it with anything. The funny thing is lately I’ve watched a few old episodes of a show that used to be on CBS called “The Guardian” which was about a lawyer who was sentenced to community service using his lawyer skills to be an advocate for children at Child and Family Services. Get it?? The GUARDIAN. GUARDIAN ad litem? The fact that I immediately linked those two things together was both entertaining and informative. Entertaining because I wasn’t expecting to have any reason to think about that show at court and informative because it helped me understand what guardian ad litem meant. I actually looked up information on being a guardian ad litem in Charlotte on a computer there while waiting around.
Lately something has been pulling at me…ok, let’s be honest, God’s been laying it on my heart that I need to get back to doing something with volunteer for the community work outside school and church (through which I also am grateful to have volunteer opportunities given to me). When I was in high school I volunteered at the hospital in the women’s and children’s unit for a year. It was a great experience. I haven’t had the chance to do something so consistent in the last few years between college and my first years of teaching. I’ve been looking around and listening in different places for a way I can start pouring more out of myself into others to help and build them up. It’s been hard to know what that might be… I’ve had several different ideas, I just haven’t acted upon them yet and then today I get summoned for jury duty and hear about the Guardian ad Litem program in Charlotte. I don’t get picked to sit on a jury. The info on the website filters through my mind throughout the day, I keep hearing what the clerks mentioned about the program over and over in my head. I’m beginning to think that the whole point of me being there, up early, fighting traffic, waiting, sitting, listening and in the end not being picked…wasn’t just to waste my day. Perhaps I was there to hear about this program so that I could do something about it.
Being a guardian ad litem is not a mindless volunteer position. There are actually 9 or so training sessions, you attend court cases, investigate things, make suggestions for placements, get an id, and are sworn into the position. It’s a lot of work. My heart is pulled towards it, however, for the chance to let the children out there in the city know they are worth something, they have someone on their side who cares about them and is looking out for them, and just to have the chance to be Jesus to kids who probably haven’t had the best lives. What an awesome opportunity to get to know them, mentor them, and be there for them in a rough spot in life.
There’s more info on the Guardian ad Litem program here. Check it out. If anyone is interested in trying this with me, please let me know.