Yesterday I had two “new client” conferences. These are introductory sessions with clients whose cases my law firm has been unable to settle without filing a lawsuit and whose cause I will be representing as attorney through the process of litigation. In both cases, these clients seem clearly in the right, although their damages are so relatively small that litigation expenses will likely prevent any “in-pocket” recovery after paying medical bills. When the case is over, I will probably substantially reduce my contractual fees so the clients can net something for their trouble.
The clients in one case are a young couple who live together. He is disabled with muscular dystrophy. She is extremely shy. Both speak barely above a whisper. Neither has any “presence,” but both seem completely truthful — even “simple.” My client in the other case is a 75-year-old transplanted Northerner here in Houston, a crusty and profane Dr. Kevorkian look-alike. He, too, is being denied justice by the defendant’s insurance company, which knows it can probably win in court regardless of the merits of the case. Like the couple before him, his case has minimal value. I tell them all the truth about their cases. I feel a genuine warmth for these folks, and try to find ways to speak to them about Jesus.
When they leave, I walk to my 17th-floor window and look out through the rain. “God,” I say, “I don’t know how I’ll ever make a living on cases like these. Help me serve these people as best I can. I believe you have sent them to me. I look to you to provide for me and my family.” Out of the blue, that afternoon I receive phone calls from insurance adjusters in two other cases. Both callers are unusually friendly. Both offer settlement exceeding what I anticipated. “Thank you, Father,” I say, as I reflect on it later. “You provide when I least expect it.”
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for he gives to his beloved even in his sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2). I love the benediction in the Book of Common Prayer which closes with the words, “And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.” My profession is the work God has given me to do. But God is my provider, not my profession. When I remember that, I have peace. I am safe in his hands.