Why it’s cool to have a police officer in your congregation.
I’ve had occasion over the past couple of months to visit my church whilst in uniform. The first couple were during my wife’s women’s Bible study and once while she and I were facilitating Financial Peace University.
The reactions I got were mixed, but altogether positive. It was an experience I’m not used to since I’m a motor officer, most of the folks I interact with aren’t exactly beside themselves thrilled to meet me. I got the ubiquitous â€œuh-oh, who is he here for?â€ stare. I heard smatterings of â€œGood Morning, Officerâ€. I saw the church secretary hip check a toddler to see if I needed anything. And then there were the ladies at the Bible study. Those women love a man in uniform. Or maybe it’s the boots…they dig the boots, too.
I’m pretty sure I heard the pastor getting ready to launch into an Ephesians 6 tirade about the armor of God…what with the bullet proof vest and all.
It got me to thinking. I’ve been going to my church for about a year now. Usually, I’m incognito in my blue jeans and button down. I’ve actually run into another guy that works for the same agency as me. When we walk through the doors and meander our way to drop our kids off, no one is the wiser about our professions.
Much like Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, you want us in your church. You need us in your church. Here’s three reasons why…
When the terrorists attack, we’ve got it handled. You come to worship God. So do we; however, before the hallelujahs and the praying, we’re plotting tactics and escape routes. Do you know the quickest and most unobtrusive way to get to your child’s Sunday school room? I do. Would it surprise you to know I’ve already dug foxholes in the neighboring fields from which I can spring and yell â€œWOLVERINES!!!â€? (Remember when Charlie Sheen wasn’t nuts?)
At some point, you’re going to get a ticket. You’ll find us next to the coffee urn some Sunday morning and shamefacedly admit you’re car is unregistered or your taillight was busted. You can’t handle the embarrassment of finding an on-duty police officer to sign it off because you don’t want to deal with the judgement. We’re church people, though, so you know we’re honor bound to forgive.
When you get to know us, you’ll want to come out for a ride-a-long. Be honest, you love NYPD Blue and SouthLAnd as much as we do. You want to feel that adrenaline rush we experience all the time. Plus, you should feel pretty safe what with God being my beat partner and all.
All kidding aside, I have to say how much we appreciate the â€œthank youâ€ and the â€œGod bless youâ€ we hear when happenstance finds us in uniform at church. With all the negativity that surrounds our profession, it is refreshing to have positive reinforcement foisted upon us. I feel confident in speaking for the guy or girl in your congregation that’s a cop when I say come up and talk to us. We’re just as human as you and we need good, positive, Christian support more than we can ever explain.
And by the way, the picture above is of St. Michael defeating Satan. I’m not Catholic, but I’m down with St. Michael. He’s the patron saint of cops. We’ll take all the help we can get!