Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Devotion 7.28.16

I was employed early in life, around the age of 14, at the office next door to our house which housed a recording studio, employment agency and a restaurant.  The owner saw me mowing the lawn at our house and asked if I would come once a week and vacuum the offices.  Sure, I said, simply because the idea of working there sounded novel.  I got to know the woman who owned and operated the employment agency, whose name was Pat Frederick (short for Patricia I'm guessing).  Pat had a son, also named Pat (short for Patrick I later learned) who was a member of the highway patrol, the DPS as we refer to them.  Young, tall, slender, dark features, and in all rights (as I would hear my mom say it), a distinguishingly handsome young man.

We awoke one morning, and I went to get the paper at the end of our driveway.  I pulled the rubber band off of it and on the front of the paper was a picture of Officer Pat Frederick.  The headline was something to the effect of "Officer Killed in the Line of Duty."  Needless to say, I ran back in, called for my mom and dad, and began to read. When my mom came out, I asked, "Do you think this is Pat's son?"  No doubt, my mom said, to which she then went to "Oh my God...."  Officer Frederick, it appears, pulled over a car in the night which he didn't know at the time had just been stolen.  The thief knew being pulled over wasn't good, so he was waiting for Frederick with his gun drawn.  Like that, Frederick's life was over.

About four years ago, I went to the police memorial in Austin, Texas (downtown) and found his name.  I remember when Mrs. Frederick returned to work a few weeks later and I was in there cleaning the offices.  She said nothing about her son, and I asked nothing.  When my mom came to express her sorrow, Mrs. Frederick simply stood up and gave me a hug, teared up and looked at my mom and said, "Always love him because you never know."

There are people in our lives whose sworn job is to put their life on the line for us if the need arises.  These men and women take on a job that probably has somewhere in its job description, "Dangerous situations that may be life threatening."  It reminds me of the line from John, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (15:13)

Christ was given that assignment for us, to give his life so that we may have grace and eternal life.  We give thanks for those who serve in all areas in which danger is a possibility (not remote either) be they civil police forces, firemen, and military.  These people go into their job knowing their life may be given in order to save others.  That sacrifice ought to truly bring home the message of the sacrifice Christ gave for this fallen world.

If you are a police officer, fireman, or military, thank you for your service.  We also lift a prayer for their safety and wisdom while on the job facing uncertain dangers.  We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the ultimate sacrifice and the sacrifice given ultimately by Christ to save us as well.

Hope Men's Ministry

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