These days it is nothing new to wake up to yet another law enforcement officer being gunned down or dying in some type of accident while on duty. Yet, death of a law enforcement officer occurs much more often than the headlines like to admit. The death I'm talking about is not what you think but can be just as tragic. Let me explain.
Over the past several months, the story taking center stage in this community, nation, and now for whatever reason, world-wide, involves an officer and a street ruffian. Now before you go pick up your stone to hurl at me, I want to set the record straight. Yes, there are bad cops. There are also bad teachers, doctors, pastors, Walmart checkers, secretaries, etc. Should they be held accountable for any illegal activity they may partake in? Yes, most certainly.
In the above case, however, the facts, forensics and credible eyewitness accounts all point to self-defense on the part of the officer. Yet, as is almost always the case, the persons with the loudest voice trump the ones with common sense....including some of those who call themselves clergy along with those holding political power - bullies, if you will.
So, the death of an officer comes quietly.
There isn't any fanfare or memorials. Nobody in high places call to console those grieving or the ones left to pick up the pieces. For the most part, deaths such as these go unnoticed.....
.....it's too late.
That is until a physical death occurs or the officer has lost his family, his identity, or his purpose. What exactly am I talking about? The disrespect and disillusioned babble by those who know nothing about being a cop, yet shoot off at the mouth with the "would've, should've, could've" scenarios making absolutely no sense, yet stirring the pot until a frenzied mob effect takes place.
How quickly we forget the ones willing to risk life and limb to save the public's backside. They work long hours, are exposed to some of the most horrific crime scenes, get little sleep and even less time spent with family. Oh the argument could be made, "Well, why don't they quit?!" The answer lies in Romans 13. The majority of these men and women in uniform understand that their job is more than just a paycheck. The job they do is a calling; they want to help...make a difference...to protect.
Underneath that hardened exterior, most are compassionate human beings who care for people. It is only after time and many assaults on their character they become jaded and calloused. They begin to question everything. Why arrest folks when they are just going to be released the next day? Why try and help someone when they are sued for assisting them? Why take a bullet for a stranger, when your sacrifice will soon be forgotten and the criminal will somehow get the accolades? I'm not sure, but I might get a little weary by all of this, wouldn't you?
They rarely catch a glimpse of the positive. It seems as if the world ignores when a good deed is done by one of these public servants, which I assure you are many, however have multiple cameras and hate-filled words of ungodly threats when something doesn't sit well.
It reminds me of a story told in the Bible when Jesus rode on the young donkey into the City Jerusalem. At that moment the people cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Yet, only a few short days later the same crowd of people jeered and chanted as a bloody and bruised Christ was presented to them for decision of His disposal. "Crucify him! Crucify him! Let his blood be on us and on our children!"
How quickly a people can turn. How quickly a spirit can be shattered. Though I realize cops in general and our Lord and Savior are two entirely different scenarios, it displays the fickleness of people's hearts.
One moment, a people may cry and plead for help in their time of terror and trauma, but in the next breath belittle, curse and even exterminate those who can provide the assistance they are so in need of. Thankfully, however, there are the few...the quiet men and women who will faithfully stand beside and honor these public servants who willingly serve their communities.
With that, I say to all our officers who have served or are currently walking the beat, and for all those countless numbers of young men and women who will proudly wear the uniform, stay focused on the task ahead. Keep your eyes fixed on the only One who truly understands your calling. The Lord knows your name and has given you the sword to do good, but also to bring wrath where punishment is warranted.
Wear your badge proudly. It represents integrity, honor and strength. Let is shine to all who see it and never tarnish it or betray its meaning.
Keep your body in shape - able to help those in need; rescue the perishing, care for the dying.
Don't forget to love and allow yourself to be loved. You are chosen...you are important...you are appreciated.
For the families on the homefront...stand with your heads held high. Do not let discouragement or fear become your friend. You have an important job - to undergird your family and the officer who has sworn to protect. You, too, have been called and must be vigilant each and every day. Be strengthened. You can do this!
To those who have such venom and hatred towards law enforcement...God still loves you. You are never too far gone, nor have created too big of a barrier to find peace and forgiveness in Him. Lay down your pride, anger, selfishness, hatred and bitterness, and instead pick up God's grace and peace. Why join the forces of evil and lose eternally, when you can gather the strength of the One who leads heavenly armies and be victorious through Him?
As the good Word tells us, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
Therefore, continue on faithful servants. You may be weary and worn, but the battle belongs to the Lord. Dig in and hold that battle line. Do not allow the enemy to steal your joy or purpose. Instead, be blessed.
In His Service,