As a law enforcement officer, you often find yourself in the unique position of meeting people in their greatest hour of need. Perhaps as a victim of a crime or participant in a serious car accident. What does this mean? It means you may very well be the most important person in that person’s life at that very moment. How? By providing something as simple as a word of encouragement, a different perspective or possibly even a quick prayer or word of reassurance that everything will be OK. Let me give you an example that happened to my daughter-in-law Stacey just last week. Stacey was married to my oldest son Seth. Seth was a nine-year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department. Seth died just four months ago from a catastrophic infection that attacked his lungs. Seth turned 30 years old 20 days before he went home to be with his Savior and Lord, Jesus. Seth left behind his wife Stacey, of almost 10 years, and two sons, Carson (6) and Bodie (1 1/2).
Stacey had a doctor’s appointment. The only thing worse than going to a doctor’s appointment is to go to one when you feel cut off, alone, in a place of unbearable darkness and sorrow. Stacey was in such a place as she awaited her doctor. There was a knock at the door, her doctor stepped inside. The doctor asked Stacey if she would allow a medical student to join them. She was in no mood to endure the battery of questions she knew the student would ask, a requirement of his “training.” Despite how she was feeling she granted permission. As expected, the medical student began to ask her medical history. Stacey began to answer the questions when, without warning, she burst into tears. As a steady stream of tears trickled down her cheeks, Stacey shared the story of Seth’s passing, at times crying so hard she could not breathe. The medical student finished his questions and put the clipboard he was holding down. “Stacey,” he asked, “Can I pray for you?” Stacey looked up as if looking into the eyes of Jesus Christ Himself and said, “Please do.” This medical student lifted Stacey up in prayer and in doing so lifted her spirits and provided a desperately needed dose of compassion, encouragement, reassurance, peace and light.
What am I suggesting, friend? To those of you who are Believers in Jesus, you may very well find yourself in the coming days in the position to be the mouth, the feet, the arms and eyes of Jesus. To those of you who are not Christians, you still have much to offer by way of a word of encouragement or assurance, two things that the person you are dealing with may desperately need. Or perhaps the shoe may be on the other foot. Maybe like Stacey, the walls of your world may be closing in. Your marriage may be on life support. Your kids may be headed down the wrong road. Your health may be failing. It could be any number of things, but needless to say, you need help. You need hope. As Stacey, despite how she felt, said yes to the medical student. You too may need to reach out and say, “Yes, I need help. I am overwhelmed. I feel like I am being buried alive by the problems surrounding me.”
Friend, the bottom line is that everyone who reads this article will need the faith and courage to either reach out for help from another person or offer hope to another person. May you have the courage, the faith, the conviction to do what is most needed for yourself and for those with whom you come in contact in the coming days!
See You at the Finish Line!
Chris Amos is a retired officer and former spokesperson for the Norfolk Virginia Police Department. He is currently the pastor at Chr1st Fellowship Church in Norfolk. He is married for 30 years and is the proud father of three children, two of whom are police officers. He serves as the volunteer Chaplain for Norfolk Police Dept. and Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.