Quote of the Quarter
“You rubbed the lamp and I’m here.. do you need me or not? I’m happy to go back into the lamp.” Officer K
We started a room addition in the middle of last year and part of that was tearing out our 1960s red brick patio to make room for our expansion. I stacked the old bricks, saving them for a future backyard project and tossed all the broken bricks into a pile. Fast forward 8 months.. the new living space came out better than we anticipated. Now the focus is on our outdoor space.
Once the stringlines were set and pattern laid out, the monotonous task of setting the bricks took over. At the end of the project, which was not without smashed fingers, sore biceps, knees, and lower back, it was time to seal the brick joints. I poured polymeric sand between the bricks and sprinkled water as prescribed. The water activates the chemicals, which acts as a glue binding the sea of red bricks into one and revealing a beautiful finished product. This final step is a significant one because without the saturation and infusion of water, the strengthening of our patio would never be realized.
Why do I tell you this story? Because the red brick patio space that was created and the covering that was erected over the top (with its own story) is a sacred space I dedicate to sharing encouraging conversation. The people I have in mind are not only family but friends, more specifically, police officers.
My heart is to help cops throughout their life and career. They have to make sense of so many crazy encounters, each with the potential of producing emotional and psychological wounds. These encounters add up day after day, month upon month, and year after year for cops. Their physical, emotional, and spiritual health is severely impacted. For all who need a safe and comfortable space for private conversation and ventilation, this space is now available.
The talks shared here usually contain stories of cracked and broken parts of their lives and a request for a fresh perspective. I’m super thankful to have this safe space where weird stories can be told, and tears can be shed into the polymeric sand strengthening the soul in need. I didn’t make a yellow brick road, but hopefully, this space will help someone down their road a little better.
F#* the Law
I noticed a wall with fresh yellow paint. It had three words graffitied on it (edited photo). I thought my partner would enjoy seeing it so I asked her to turn the corner and pull over. She quickly called her beat partners to come for a photo. The words painted were intended as hateful, but the cops know the truth about their jobs and the sentiment of “some” people. They took it as an opportunity to have a chuckle and not as “news” about how some feel about them. They know if they take it as a message from everyone, they would be seriously heartbroken. They have come to embrace the sentiment as part of their job.
Similarities between Chaplains and Law Enforcement
Here is a list I found somewhere a long time ago describing the similarities of Chaplains and Law Enforcement.
1. They both are charged to uphold the laws and values that are decaying at a rapid pace.
2. We both understand what it’s like to never be off-duty. We both understand what it’s like to always be a law enforcement officer or a pastor. We may take the uniform off, but we still represent those offices.
3. The community will treat us as if we represent every bad minister, priest, or officer they have ever known.
4. We are called upon to do things in our community that no one else wants to do.
5. Law enforcement and clergy pay high emotional dues in fulfilling their duties.
6. The people we serve lie to us, but expect us to always tell the truth, and often we become the scapegoats for their misconduct.
7. Our community does not have a clue what law enforcement and clergy really do on a daily basis, yet they’re experts at criticizing when things don’t go their way.
8. Both have many acquaintances but few friends (we find it hard to really trust others).
9. We encourage, support, help others when we ourselves, at times, are desperate in need of encouragement, support, and help.
10. Within our responsibilities the highs are very high and the lows are very low.
11. There is great frustration in not being able to help everyone who is in need.
12. There is great frustration in watching people we help return to their previous choices and lifestyles.
13. No matter how many people we help, we always lose some, and that is never easy.
14. Clergy focuses on the spiritual and often ignores the reality of the other parts of life and the need for healing there as well. Officers deal with the physical and mental and often refuse to believe that spiritual healing is necessary, when in reality we really do need each other to help make our community a better place.
I thank God for you, for your work behind the scenes through prayer, finances, and encouragement.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17