This isn’t the blog post I had intended for this week but in light of recent events I wanted to share some insights as both a cop’s wife and a cop’s daughter. You see I come from a family of police, military and firemen, it is honestly all I have ever known. I grew up a cop’s kid and vividly remember sitting and watching my dad don his vest, his blues, and his gun belt and badge. He wore his uniform with pride and made all the sacrifices associated with his choice of lifestyle; missed dinners, missed birthdays, and missed holidays. He worked hard to keep drunk drivers off the street and to keep his community and family safe. My grandfather was retired military and my uncle also became a police officer. After my brother graduated high school he joined the Army National Guard and served in both Irag and Afganistan. On the civilian side he spent several years working alongside our dad as a sheriff deputy. With all this family history it wasn’t surprising that the man I fell in love with and married would become a firefighter and paramedic who has since gone on to become a mandated officer and arson investigator. So you see I am surrounded by some amazing men who go out and serve their communities everyday! I also understand that for my loved ones and so many of the police and firefighters it is more than a job it is a calling and one that they believe in and dedicate their lives to. They have an innate desire to protect those around them. This is why they run into danger when everyone else is running away. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time praying for these men, praying they stay safe, praying that they can help those they are called to serve, and praying they come home alive to their family every night.
The morning after the tragedy in Dallas I was especially aware of my husband putting on the uniform, making sure he had his vest and donning his gun belt and badge. I won’t lie that morning I was afraid more so than I have ever been for my husband to walk out the door and begin his day. I sat at the kitchen table in the quiet of the early morning before the kids were awake and I prayed and I cried. I mourned for the lives lost and the shattered heart broken families. I prayed for my husband, my father, and my uncle and all our friends and police and firefighter brethren working extra hard that morning. I sat wondering how to explain such tragedy to my children. How do I explain why people act violently out of a place of hatred, ignorance, and an overwhelming sense of fear? Then I opened up my morning devotional and the words that day were strong and clear it boiled down to the two most important things we have been instructed to do in this world, “Love God, Love People.” So simple but so difficult to do in today’s world. Difficult but not impossible!
As a mother it is my responsibility to help the next generation to better than mine. I feel compelled to teach my children a lot of things but the two things that stand out as being the most important are that they need to Love God and Love People wholly and unconditionally. The second is in order to do this they will need to Be Kind and Have Courage. You see kindness and love leave no room for hate or fear. It allows you to see yourself and others as valuable human beings whose life deserves to be respected and cherished. However to do this in today’s world requires a lot of courage. Courage to hold to your faith when facing adversity, courage to love others who you don’t agree with, to be willing to hear their story and respect their rights, courage to understand that it is ok to be different and even respectively disagree with someone and know that you can still love them, and most importantly courage to stand for your own set of values and morals and not allow others to take them from you. I also want to teach my children to look for the good. That even in the face of tragedy and evil God always reminds us that there is goodness in the world. You see this in the people who step up to help even though they don’t have to; those who rush in to save a stranger’s life, those who are there to pick up the pieces and help repair and rebuild, those who stand united together reaching across differences to make this world a little better place.
So as my loved ones get up tomorrow and put their uniforms on I will pray for their safety but I won’t allow fear to take hold. I will have faith and I will have courage that the Lord ultimately has this under control and all he is asking us to do is to Be Kind, Have Courage and show the world what it is to Love God, and Love all his People!