I went to a court hearing this past week, something I've not done since I retired from active law practice almost ten years ago. A young man who has been attending our church was arrested and at this hearing plead guilty to burglary, a serious charge. I also know him to have a good heart as I've watched him care for his sisters and brother with wisdom and discipline beyond his years. He's not yet out of high school. I found out about the hearing by accident, and decided it was important to go. I wanted to remind him that he is still a child of God, in spite of the big mistake he made.
Actually, the still, small voice that I've learned to recognize as God speaking to me nagged me mercilessly until I made plans to go. At the hearing they brought the young man in with shackles on his feet and hands, and I was glad our pastor and another friend from church were there along with his mom and one of her friends. His attorney asked the judge to reduce his bond so he could go home while he waits for his sentencing hearing. He's not been in trouble before, so those of us who know him are hoping that he will be able to go to a children's home on probation--a second chance. We're praying for that result at the next hearing.
Who of us has not needed a second chance in our lives? The judge recognized me from my days practicing law, which I hope was a good thing. In any case, he reduced the bond so that the kid was able to go home on a strict curfew the next day. Once again I was grateful that I had listened when God nudged me, and worried about the times when I've not paid close enough attention to recognize God's nudges. Easy to do when life takes over and the daily noise crowds out God's voice, which is indeed still and small. As one of my favorite seminary professors said, "It's not easy to hear God's voice in a place such as this."
Grace and Peace,