“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”- Thomas Paine
The other day my brother and I were talking about this very concept. This dilemma we both felt was encroaching like a dark hung vale over the canopy of a blue sky.
Out walking about 25 acres of creek, tree, and fresh plowed earth in search of fossils and artifacts, we spoke intently of our careers, our convictions, and the ugly truths that still lingered in our minds that often cause a sleepless night. We pondered the possibilities of conflict, a revolution of the country that would no doubt be labeled a “civil war”, the conception of which holds far more reality than I would wish to be certain of. But in the end we still both came to the same pronouncement, we did not want our children fighting our war for us.
I am a peaceful man, although I am not the same man I was 15 years ago. I know that I’ve made, even if through small motions, positive impacts in people’s lives. The atmosphere has changed though, I changed, and my understanding of true service changed, leaving me knowing that I’ve also left negative impacts in the wake of a career and lifestyle that are everlasting.
The truth is these days my heart is more open than the ocean. I have a better understanding of love, a better sense of peace. But, I will not stand by idle and let my convictions be silenced or burnt to dust.
Yes I write from the perspective of a police officer, but the message still applies to anyone reading this thread, as I am as much human as you. One of the nine principles of policing, attributed to Sir Robert Peel, was that the police maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
In my book, Salt & Light I wrote “Should we find ourselves more apt to defend an Earthly institution, leading other believers to do things inconsistent with our duties to God and serving the personal interest of ourselves or Man, then we are nothing more than careerist. As Christian police officers we should be determined to perform our duties as disciples so that our actions reflect Gods message and our works are seen as labors of love lasting in perpetuity. The reflections of Proverbs 24:1-12 guide us to gain knowledge of God through wisdom and understanding, staying distant from the ways of the wicked. Saying 25 (Proverbs 24:10-12) reminds us that not only are we responsible for our own strength [ faith] but it is our duty to rescue follow brothers in Christ who are living lives that lead to death. We in fact find ourselves morally bound through the following words, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” We also gain from this passage, an understanding of our calling to protect life, both physical and spiritual.”
We all fight personal battles, but what are we putting off today for others or our children to clean up tomorrow? We are fighting a war right now to win hearts and you have a chance, yes you, whether sworn by on oath or not, to stand in this time and be the face of hope, the face of love, and most importantly… the face of Christ.
Truly evaluating ourselves, a lot of us in Public Service get caught up on being the “sheep dog” but it’s fair to say that all of us civilian and sworn forget the vital role of the Good Shepherd. Don’t expect your badge to be a symbol of compassion, let your life be evidence of it. Words are still just words until they are put into action, and sheep dogs are just another dog, unless they truthfully care for the sheep.
God bless. Stay Safe. – Matthew Poole
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