Briefing: When the “Dallas Five” were murdered, I went to two of the funerals. I was emotionally and physically drained afterward. I can’t imagine what it would be like to attend all five but I know officers who did and they were exhausted. This was nothing compared to the grief and exhaustion of the families.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 137.
On the Street: Emotions and feelings remind us that we are alive. Christians are not called to emotionally remove ourselves from this world and the people in it. Love is all about caring, feeling. The Bible is very clear in its precepts to love others, both Christian and non-Christian.
Our body has natural defenses that try to protect us from pain. The nerve endings in our skin actually protect us from harm. If you get too close to fire, the nerves in your body begin to send messages to the brain telling you to move away. Mentally, we can also protect ourselves from harm. Becoming numb and indifferent to the pain of others can keep us from feeling sympathetic and emotionally involved. I think peace officers get too good at turning off the pain and becoming numb to the emotional and physical hardships of others. We can get to the point where we just don’t care. That is not a good place to be.
The psalmist finds himself in a foreign land and a slave. “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” He is experiencing a brokenness most of us cannot relate to. On top of being exiled to another land, they were asked to perform; “for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” They were in a bitterly depressed state of emotion.
The Bible addresses sorrow in several places. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is a time and place for sorrow, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Psalm 30:5 says, “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
I get alerts on my phone when an officer dies in the line of duty. Sometimes, I go days without an alert but there are times when it sends 3-5 line of duty death notifications for one day. I stop and read the details of the death, what family is left behind, and how long the officer served. We work in a job that is ripe for tragic events. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart”. Even after reading this verse, I can tell you I never want to go to another police officer’s funeral as long as I live. Psalm 119:28 says, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word”.
In Psalm 30:11, God’s Word also tells us, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,” There will be the dawning of a new day.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 121.
Officer Safety Principle: Revelation 21:4 says when we get to heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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