My Dad has been in heaven for 10 years – 11 this coming October. On Father’s Day, I was thinking about my Dad’s life and how his story might speak into the current crisis we are experiencing in this country.
My Dad was a State Trooper. He was a policeman. I believe his early life shaped his desire to become a policeman.
My Dad’s parents divorced when my Dad was 10. His parents remarried other people, and his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic. My Dad saw his mother beaten up, and he and his three brothers tried to intervene and stop it from happening, only to be beaten up themselves. When they got strong enough, big enough and old enough, they were able to protect their mom and themselves.
My Dad grew up with a great desire to protect and serve others. He found that desire satisfied in being a policeman.
Yet, in that desire—he had compassion for the people he arrested. He would tell me that many of them would start telling him their stories as they sat in the back of his cruiser—stories of their own abuse from others and from their own hands—of all the ways their lives had led them to this point in time. My Dad would listen, and he would encourage them, telling them that they could make different choices– they could get help–they did not have to be the people they currently were– God would help them.
My Dad had a best friend and partner who would eventually leave the State Police and become a Pastor and an Evangelical Speaker, as the calling to speak hope and forgiveness and grace into others’ lives became a fulltime calling.
So– what is my point—policemen and policewomen are somebody’s dad or mom, somebody’s husband or wife, somebody’s brother or sister, somebody’s somebody. Police officers, like all people, are created in the image of God, and they are loved by God.
Scripture tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but it is a spiritual battle.
In order to properly fight this spiritual battle, we need to use spiritual means. We don’t fight hatred and evil, by using hatred and evil. We rely on God and His wisdom and His resources.
God is all about love, forgiveness, saving and redeeming. If we listen to His words, we become His ambassadors here on this earth, spreading His love and His forgiveness.
God wants us to be aware of what the source of the evil is, and to not give into the hatred. Hatred destroys. There is a movement now, to correct some of the injustices and evil that is being seen in how some police handle race relations, and handle enforcing the law.
Martin Luther King headed a movement based on non-violence. That movement brought about great change in this country. This movement was based on believing God’s Word—that we must love even our enemies.
I would like to close with a video by an interracial couple, I know personally. Dirk and Lorna Johnston were on staff with Cru at Michigan State University when I was a college student. I went to their wedding. They talk about experiencing racism and how God lead them to deal with it—resulting in the transforming power of God’s love.
I hope—as always—that it encourages you!!