Happy Friday to all out there looking for a good word today Andrew L. Poole joins the blog If the name sounds familiar he is the brother of Matthew Poole. Both men are Police Officers, but also gifted writers, in my opinion. Which this is my Blog so my opinion counts. Thank you, Andrew, for sharing this message with us.
Today, as I was working a patrol shift encumbered with calls for service, case reports and follow up interviews, I found myself blindsided and called upon by God. I was sitting in a corner office, alone, typing 100 miles per hour on an important terroristic threat report, and suddenly a citizen of the community I serve is standing in the office I’m in without warning (this is the first time I’ve ever used this particular office). To make the matter more pressing, it seems to me that she is in distress.
Now this city, whom I will refer to as Jane (for privacy purposes) has issues with anxiety and has frequented the lobby of our Police Department regularly. She usually sits in the lobby and is fine after being there a while, then she returns home. She is also a “frequent flier” for our local EMS; however, she is a very sweet and amicable person. I must be honest though, I have typically not shared many words with her besides the usual salutation and inference into how she is doing.
For the record, I know Jane’s name, but for some reason, at the time of her entering my office, I don’t want to commit to a formal greeting because I feel that I might have her name wrong. I look at her and greet her with a simple “Hey, how are you today?” Then I realize by her breathing that something is wrong. She immediately replies that she is having an anxiety attack, while simultaneously grabbing my right hand as I’m sitting at my desk (this has never happened before). I tell “Jane” that everything is going to be alright and that we will get through this. I think to myself, okay, this is no big deal, I’ve had an anxiety attack before, I’ve done my research on this stuff and I’ve educated myself on handling this type of situation. No problem…I’ll walk her through some tactical breathing exercises, talk to her about her day, get her mind focused on something else and so on and so forth. But before I can get a word out she asks, “Can you pray with me?”
I look at Jane, a little caught off guard, tell her sure, and bow my head while still grasping her hand. Then, with my head bowed and my eyes closed I hear Jane ask, “Will you pray?” For a split second, I’m at a loss for words. Here is this woman, having an anxiety attack, I can’t completely remember her name and she wants me to pray for her. I didn’t know what to do. I told “Jane” that I didn’t know if I was necessarily good at praying. So… I prayed for us both. I prayed that God would be with us. I prayed that God would help us to breathe and to make us of Him and not of this world. That God would lead us, help us and remind us every day of the true beauty that surrounds us in this world that He created. I prayed that God would give us the strength to give our burdens unto Him and that He would lift us up and make us strong. Then I said Amen. Jane, relieved, thanked me and walked out of my office into the lobby.
In all honesty, I am not an open prayer. I am what some may call a “closet prayer”. I even find it hard when called upon to pray at a family gathering. I simply don’t feel like I am good at it. Ask me to talk “cop shop” and I’m game. In that split second between Jane asking me to pray for her and me delivering a prayer, I found myself silently calling to God to help me, and He delivered.
Before I went to work today I asked God to help me do my job and to have the right words to help people, and He did not disappoint. He truly answered my prayer. God called me out, He supported me, He helped me help someone else and myself, He gave me the strength and words to overcome what I thought was a weakness and I am truly glad. All thanks be to God.
Andrew L. Poole