Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Humility and Humiliation

Ozone 3.0 Mission Duty Bag | Odor CrusherAs I was preparing to leave, a member of my family pulled me aside.

"Where are you going?"

"Cops are critical infrastructure workers.  They'll need a word of hope, ministry of presence and reminders of the Good News now more than ever."

"OK.  If you're going, when you get back, we will put you in the basement.  Everything you need will be dropped to you down the stairs or laundry chute."

"OK.  That makes sense.  Thank you for working with me."

As I prepared for an extended COVID-19 quarantine by starting to move the essentials to the basement, the Holy Spirit stirred a memory.

Bed Bugs [fact sheet] | UNH ExtensionA few years ago, I left home with duty bag in hand.  From 8:30 pm - 6:30 am I rode with Joe* and we were called to an apartment complex by feuding neighbors.  After he completed police work and I kept pets from escaping (sometimes chaplains do what no one else is doing...), we were preparing to go to the next call.  A veteran officer entered the apartment and confirmed a bed bug infestation.

Flashlights on the uniforms Joe and I were wearing revealed bed bugs all over the pants, boots and shirt sleeves.  He called his commander on the way back to the station.  Joe was instructed to remove his uniform, place it in a hazmat bag, shower immediately and sanitize his gear and vehicle.  Everything he needed was waiting for him at the operations center.

We arrived together and I asked about access to a hazmat bag, shower and sanitizing agents.  Without blinking, Joe let me know none had been provided and that I would have to figure it out.  I would have had a problem without Reliant prayer and financial partners.  Together we immediately figured it out.

Bed bugs nevertheless taught a valuable lesson.

Though I minister among officers and community members, I am not a cop nor a Lanstronaut.  Each group allows me to share the Good News of Jesus Christ but neither claims me as their own.  I am however fully claimed by the people who promised to put me in the basement.

Remembering what I am, and am not, helped me find new ways to serve as I Stay Home, Stay Safe.

How to Use Zoom While We're Trapped at Home For Online Classes and ...
Text, phone, Zoom, email and USPS have all been leveraged while sheltering at home. Each resource has an expense but financial partners give. Prayer partners defy boundaries of space and time as they lift cops and the community by faith.  The duty bag is right where I left it and pride still tempts me to go and "do something" with cops in the field.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
~ Proverbs 16:18

God has brought me safely home each time I was on a ride-along.  In a season I'm not supposed to ride, the Lord has provided a loving home from which to minister.   Whether on the road or at home, including the team on the great adventure, is a privilege.

*Name changed to maintain privacy.


  1. Alex, thanks for the information. Just prayed for all, what a blessing you are. Denny

    1. Denny, thank you for your prayer ministry. Your post is fuel for the work. Appreciating you greatly.

  2. Great reflections and an encouraging word as we navigate ministry in these times.

    1. Greatly encouraged by your post Charissa. Navigation is trial and error. Trusting God with my errors during this trial.

  3. Your family is your first ministry. While we have been called to serve in many different ministries, and various capacities and locations, your family remains one of the most consistent callings in every season. God has given us wisdom to allow us to still serve others outside our family in creative and effective ways. Continue to seek Him for guidance on how to still serve others for His Glory.

    1. Thank you for the timely reminder. Scripture says if we lack wisdom, we should ask. This season has us on our faces, asking the Lord for wisdom. We will continue seeking the Lord for guidance. Encouraged by your post.

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