Be in the world, not of the world.

My life seems surrounded by tragedy these past few weeks. Not personal tragedy, thankfully, but just a nearly overwhelming sense of doom. From the OPD tragedy to Pittsburgh, PA’s loss. I’ve had a number of friends and co-workers lose loved ones. Some expected, some not. Every parent’s nightmare came to life in Tracy, CA, when the body of a missing eight year old was found in a suitcase. I have not been feeling overly hopeful of late with the overall status of Society.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a short note to my kids. You can see it here. After reading the post, my Mom sent me an email. I shan’t copy and paste the entire email as parts of it are just between us; however, I was reminded of an important point. But first, a quick semi-personal aside.

I have tried to fashion this blog into a cathartic release for me that is solely based on my work experiences. I deviate every so often, but, hey, it’s my blog, right? At any rate, I have mostly kept my political and religious views out of here, because those views can be met as divisive or confrontational…which is funny, since I work in one of the most confrontational careers going. I want you, the reader, to see things from a perspective you may not necessarily be familiar with, specifically, a cop’s.

Having said that, however, I must admit to a fair amount of shame for not expressing my personal belief in God prior to all the ridiculous catastrophes of late. I don’t intend to brow beat any of you with my particular view of religion and God, don’t fret. I will say, though, that I have a strong background in Christianity and have all the faith in the world in God, my personal struggles with organized religion and/or Church notwithstanding. This is not the forum to argue the divinity of these really shitty events or my use of the word shitty in the same paragraph with God, but, rather, to my Mom’s rather salient point.

And here it is…in her own words…

We live in an evil world – yes. We are taught to live in this world but not to be “of” it. WE are the light. WE are the ones who are charged with helping those who live in that evil. You deal with it every day. Do you not recognize that when you come across a “problem” citizen that YOU are the light they need? You don’t have to preach to them. You don’t have to lecture them. You are responsible only to do what you do – and then pray for them (privately in your car or back at your bike)…every time. The more pissed off you are with a situation – the more prayer you should put into it. Have you considered that your mood is an invitation from God? He opens that door and it’s your choice to walk through it.

You are not the source of your children’s security. You are the source of their teaching. No parent wants their child to ever be touched by cruelty, bigotry, injustice or just plain meanness. The sad truth is that there is no way to avoid it. Don’t you think I feel your pain with what you deal with every day? I’m your mom – I want everyone to love you like I do.

Don’t you believe that I feel your fear in hoping that you CAN protect your children and knowing deep down you cannot? I would not be able to function if I didn’t truly believe that Christ is with you every day in every situation. I pray incessantly for you, your safety and your impact on others – and for your family leadership. It’s a huge burden to carry without Christ.

Your influence, true influence, on your children is fleeting. You want to help them understand not just what the world is filled with – but how to deal with it … how to “be in the world not of the world”. There is a plan for everyone – absolutely everyone…including everyone involved in the death of those officers.

Again, Christ is faithful. He taught me that life really is a journey. My “job” was to put you on the best path being as prepared as I could possibly make you – and then let you go. At this point in your parenting you cannot possibly know how totally impossible that is…but it must happen.

The same is true of the officers, their family and co-workers. No one can truly explain God’s plan. We can only do our absolute best to play the cards we are dealt. You learned this, – now is the time to remember it. Christ is the One and Only answer. You can be as private about it as you like but without your faith you have nothing to fall back on. That’s what causes confusion in your heart. That’s what makes you feel ill-equipped to explain to your children. Bad things happen to very – very good people. We are not privileged to know the details of God’s plan for each of us. We are, however, privileged to follow the One who can give us the peace that nothing and no one else can.

I love you more than you can possibly comprehend. Find your peace so you can share it with your family – that is YOUR job.

xoxo … your mom

I know she’ll probably be embarrassed at being included, but, tough. 😉 I can hear her now, “You didn’t have to do that. That was just for you.” Well, here’s a response…maybe YOU were the light others needed and I’m just the vehicle to pass it along? Ooooo…deal with that! It was a point that needed to be made and I’m proud (and quite the Momma’s boy, by the by) that she loves me enough to say these things to me. It seems very fitting to me that this is my 100th post.

I will close with the Officer’s prayer and the knowledge that there is a plan and I’m a part of it. I will try and keep that in mind when I hear the giant sucking sound of Society going down the tubes.

A POLICE OFFICER’S PRAYER

Lord I ask for courage

Courage to face and
Conquer my own fears…

Courage to take me
Where others will not go…

I ask for strength

Strength of body to protect others
And strength of spirit to lead others…

I ask for dedication

Dedication to my job, to do it well
Dedication to my community
To keep it safe…

Give me Lord, concern
For others who trust me
And compassion for those who need me…

And please Lord

Through it all
Be at my side…

–Author Unknown

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

7 thoughts on “Be in the world, not of the world.

  1. Well said. Your mom was right on.

    As for the bad guys, one of the attorneys I work with said that our job is to bring rock bottom up to smack them in the ass so that they don't have to fall any further.

    Less spiritual, but I think its a pretty direct way of putting it.

  2. Very nice post MC (and MC`s mam)

    I often think it would be nice to have faith. I personally do not believe in a religion. I guess I am a Humanist at heart. I try and lead a good life, I dedicate my life to helping others and hopefully that makes me a good person.
    I recently posted a post on my blog about suicide that made me think about the whole religion thing. I still dont have any answers or any faith, but sometimes I am jealous of those of you like you and your mam do.
    Thanks for sharing the email!

  3. Tell your mother I love her! She is right on!!

    I always told my daughter I work in the dark world – where people are mean, But I live in the real world – Where people love and do whats right. Sometimes the dark world tries to sneak into the real world.. And that is what officers are for.. To put them back in their dark world.

    My husband also wanted to keep our blog political and religion free!!

    Sorry honey! Can't do that! I love Jesus so much I literally pray silently on the phone for the citizen's to mention his name so I can have my 'free reign' to shout of His love from the roof tops!!

    Ya, and right now, my officer is report writing outside our church in his vehicle listening to the services.. Since they broadcast it over FM for the hearing impaired.. It also comes over the car speakers if he's parked close enough to the building!
    Sweet!!! But, ssshhh I never said a word!
    -Dispatcher

  4. Your mom is one of a kind. Wonderful words to live by. I truly enjoyed reading them. I haven't posted since the day after the OPD incident (or thereabouts). My illogical brain wants to issue blame and point fingers, but my logical brain knows that what ocurred couldn't have been avoided. That scumbag just got the drop on them. Our boys had no chance. I'm glad to have been laid off recently. I no longer have to take the trip to Oakland on a daily basis. I don't have to feel the sadness that being in Oakland brings. Stay strong Motor.

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