Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." - Acts 9:4-5 (NRSV)
At twenty-two, I had never been summoned for jury duty, but I had a feeling it was bad form to be late. And I was.
I got off the train, sprinted up the escalator and dashed through a turnstile when a voice boomed, "HEY! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"
I turned and faced a young man about my age.
"You didn't see her, did you?" he said.
I was confused and uninterested in conversation. I was late for jury duty!
He shook his head with disgust. "You didn't even see her." I had no clue what he was talking about. "You knocked her over!" he added.
On the other side of the turnstile a group of people helped a woman to her feet. She was unlike me: older, of short stature, female, black.
"I'm so sorry," I stammered, feebly. "It was an accident. I'm late for... jury duty."
"Jury duty," the guy scoffed.
I looked at the woman and at the people who helped her up. Their scowling brown faces made the verdict clear.
Lord, sometimes I am as oblivious and heartless as Saul. Thank you for knocking me off my horse to see how I have hurt you, and your beloveds.
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series publishe by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first book, The Spinner Prince available now.