Rabbit Heart, Lion Heart

Before reading the following post, I recommend you read this post if you have not already.

I would love to tell you that I'm brave. I would love to be able to truthfully state that I courageously campaign for just and righteous causes without a thought for myself. I would love to identify with the likes of Martin Luther King, Junior and Susan B. Anthony, inspirational people who fought for a worthy cause without much hope of seeing change occur in their lifetimes. However, my only confession is that while I sometimes like to imagine myself to be crusader of all that is good and noble, I am, at my core, a rabbit heart with only a useless dash of lion. I say it's useless because it's rarely enough to thrust me into action, but just enough to cause me to feel a restlessness within.

Since my first court date in July, I've been hyper-aware of the days ticking away one by one, approaching the dreaded date of September 10th. I've been practicing my speech and my defense for two months, but have felt it was inadequate, fearing that I would be stuck with court fees, traffic fines and two moving violations on my driving record regardless of my efforts. I have been afraid. The truth is that I would be a-okay if I never have to see that police officer again. The truth is that the judge sitting in his high seat in his black robe with his judgy demeanor intimidates me. The mere idea of reliving a terrifying experience in front of people that I must count as my enemies intimidates me, as well. I am, at my core, a rabbit heart.

Until recently, my hope has been in the town prosecutor. I have so wanted her to talk the ticket down, and remove the moving violations. It may be disappointing for some of you to read this, but I would have happily paid one of the tickets in order to avoid court. After speaking with the prosecutor last month, I had my doubts about my version of a happy ending, and began bracing myself for what was sure to be a traumatic experience. As August slipped away, I began to feel a little more desperate to find an escape route. That feeling of desperation is what propelled my hope in the correct direction. I began praying that the Lord would either intervene on my behalf, surrendering my hope of justice to Him in order to avoid court, or that He would grant me a spirit of boldness, courage and wisdom as I faced my enemies--that in either circumstance, He would be with me. I know that as long as Jesus stands with me, I can do anything, but without Him, I am only a rabbit heart.

My anxiety came to a climax this weekend. I kept trying to beat it down with prayer. It worked, but I kept slipping back into a pool of dread. Finally, I sent out an email to the strongest prayer warriors I know, asking them to join me in prayer over the issue. I felt compelled to wait until yesterday to call the prosecutor. And I would have forgotten except that two of my dearest friends came to my home for a visit yesterday, and asked about the ticket. I begged their excuse for a moment, and I dialed the prosecutor. She answered.

"Hello," I said, "my name is Melissa Keaster. You asked me to call you a couple of days before court about my traffic ticket issued in May . . . "

She told me that it was her intention to drop the careless operation charge because somehow she had gotten a copy of the blog I posted about the encounter. I don't know who gave it to her. Maybe the lawyer I met with in May? Maybe a friend? I don't know. But she knew the story. She asked me if I had been driving in the left hand lane.

I told her that I had, but that I had been passing vehicles and that I was approaching a left turn. I also told her that I remembered not being able to get out of the vehicle's way when it came bearing down upon me because there was traffic in the right hand lane. I told her that my instincts as a driver are defensive, and that I would have moved if possible.

She paused for a moment. "Okay. How about we drop both charges, and call it even?"

It was my turn to pause . . . incredulously. "Meaning that I don't have to go to court or pay anything?"

"Yes, and thank you for your patience," she finished.

"Thank you," I said.

I hung up in disbelief and utter, blessed relief. I don't have a court date tomorrow. I won't pay anything. I don't have to see the officer again. And I have learned my lesson to never drive through Sterlington alone.

I am absolutely convinced that this was a gift from God. I say that knowing that some of you will disapprove of me for not filing a complaint against the officer, for not writing a letter to the editor and for not contacting KNOE news to do an investigative story on the long time injustices of the Sterlington police. I believe that God acted on my behalf, and that this is His will. I believe that I would have gone to court, and represented myself well had that been His will, but it wasn't. It isn't. My plan of action now is to thank the Lord for this blessing, to pray for the officer when I think of him, and to warn individuals about the danger to women and children driving alone in Sterlington, Louisiana.

I refuse to boast in my own cleverness. I will not boast in the town prosecutor's generosity. I will not thank destiny or fate or the universe. "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."--Galatians 6:14

Jesus is my deliverer in every plight of body and soul, and He is the only One worthy of worship and gratitude! I hope you know that Jesus, Reader. For truly, He is the only cause worth living and dying for. For and with Him alone, I am a lion heart.

Recommended listening. Forgive the weird photos of the lead singer of the band that pop in: