Houston had five police officers shot in the line of duty this past week. The duty? Entering a dangerous situation to attempt to search for weapons and drugs in a home in a community. One of the officers suffered wounds for the third time in his career.
When I was a principal in Houston in the 1990s, there were a few times when I was called about a possible break-in at the school. We had an alarm, so the call came, and I responded. Each time the Houston Police (HPD) were there. I remember how we interacted. I'd pull up in my car, and they were out of their cars near an entrance. I'd get out of the car making every attempt that they would know I was there on their terms, hands clearly visible and out front for them to see. We'd shake hands and they'd ask about entrances and the building. It was before sophisticated systems, so we didn't talk in terms of sectors and motion sensors.
HPD would tell me to stay put, and they would go in, leaving a couple outside in case the would-be burglar would be flushed out. Only on one occasion out of the three did they catch someone. However, every time I remember they would stand between me and harm. The police were definitely friends of the school. They were responsive and quick to be present. From speaking to a class, to dealing with potential abuse, to helping with small, petty stuff (going to the house of a guy picking up his kids and cussing at one of the teachers to tell the man we didn't appreciate that).
Every time I saw them, there was a feeling of reassurance. They were going to take care of the situation. And the neighborhood was one of a high ethnic neighborhood, but that never seemed to enter into a conversation because the policeman may be white, black, Hispanic as well. They behaved as though successfully resolving the situation was the most important matter at hand.
So, when I heard five were shot trying to rid a neighborhood of an undesirable element, I saw the faces of the husbands of teachers in the school who were policemen, guys I went to high school with, and policemen who came as part of the route they covered. It could be any of them.
The words of John 15:13 come to mind at this time: "Greater love has no one than this; to lay down his life for his friends."
We pray today for those who put themselves in harm's way for people they don't even know. Christ laid down his life for us, and He knows us, for better and worse. We lift up a prayer of thanksgiving for those who are willing to lay down their lives for us, regardless of who or what we are. Through their sacrifice, we witness John 15:13 and are given a small glimpse of the sacrifice Christ paid for us.
Hope Men's Ministry