Michael was the weakest link. He knew, his team knew, his commander knew. While his unit invaded Baghdad, Michael hid and wept. Seeing his pain, his captain led him into the basement of a bombed building. Determined to address the problem, he told Michael to play.
The piano was preserved in Saddam Hussein's basement. Music soothed Michael but earned little respect from his unit. Then his captain was killed and Michael wrote a song. At the memorial, Michael played while his unit wept.
The weakest link held everyone together. Impressed, his commanding officers asked him to write songs for fallen soldiers. His assignment was to work among the weeping. From unit to unit, Michael listened to friends describe a friend, wrote about what he heard and used music to soothe, to comfort. Soldiers grew to respect Michael. The weakest link became a linchpin.
A linchpin is a person or thing that holds everything together. No one thought about Michael until he was desperately needed. Few think about Jesus until he is desperately needed.
Tanya thanked Jesus when she married Michael. She desperately needed Him when Michael's PTSD worsened. The couple harnessed their pain to create The War and Treaty. Their live shows are sweaty displays of raw emotion. Vulnerable artists foment vulnerabiity in fans. Some of their fans are police officers.
Officers are vulnerable. Critical incidents, job stress and cultural shifts affect humans. Cops are human beings. Police chiefs see the pain and invite chaplains to serve. Sometimes the work is a walk among the weeping. Cops make me look like the weakest link. They're creative, tough and resilient. I've seen them risk their lives for total strangers. When they're in need, I depend on the greatest linchpin: Jesus Christ.
Jesus cares about the things that make cops want to hide and weep. As a chaplain, I listen, make observations and - when appropriate - lead officers to resources. Sometimes it's counseling, sometimes it's lunch on me, often it's to the Lord. Reliant equips me in the work.
Some officers respect what I do. Others see me as a weak link. May all see my life and glorify God.