Air conditioning purrs and radios squawk on cops' hips. The sun has yet to rise.
Officers come and go, embedded in thought and action. We speak and are cordial. I am here by their invitation.
Getting into closed worlds is not by initiation but by invitation. The Glocks, bulletproof vests, tasers and handcuffs are plentiful. By God's design, trust has been extended to me; to us.
Collective efforts, including prayer and financial support, fuel salutations this morning. Awaking before dawn, driving through obscurity, waving the wand and walking behind a locked door with breakfast for twenty is teamwork. We are doing the work; we are saying the prayers; we are buying the food, gas and postage stamps.
We are represented but I feel alone. Remembering the team helps when I can't see the team. I see suburban cops and urban most wanted posters. I see new cops wondering about the chaplain and veteran cops sidestepping the chaplain. Remembering the team helps.
There are three Captains on our team. The Father, Son and Spirit act as One. A strange comfort comes from knowing Their Triune commitments to One Another. Heartily saying, "Good morning," for the seventeenth time is my commitment to the .
My commitment shoos doubts about whether the Gospel works; whether building a career on His Word is wise. Doubts swirl in the cooled air about depending on Jesus as a profession. Most careers are built on a plan, initiative, follow through and vision. Ambition and moxy can be stumbling blocks in Kingdom endeavors. Working for Jesus sometimes feels a little silly.
Being among cops this morning makes me feel foolish. Last night the black man shot by the white cop was in Wisconsin. I'm a black man, with white cops, in Michigan. What good are the Wisconsin protests and the Michigan outreach really doing?
My questions and doubts are internal and answers are thin. Behind a COVID mask, thoughts swirl, as I return the cordial greetings with cordial greetings. Masks are helpful on days like today; days I wonder if I'm a fool; days I wonder if the Holy Spirit is a crutch for the heartbroken; days I wonder if I look as stupid as I feel.
On a day like today, a veteran cop lingers after a cordial greeting. Jesus taught us about being fishers of people. I bait a hook with a question and his answer takes longer than a disinterested cop, in a hurry, ought. Another question and we've been together fifteen minutes. "Can you say more?" is my last utterance before the veteran talks through sunrise.
We speak of pain and ambition and karma and the court system; of plea bargains and letting people walk and bloodied victims and juries that don't like cops; of overtime and racism and county government and student loans; of meat smokers and bacon and eggs and twenty three shifts in a row and aroma therapy; of the Savior and His Jewish roots, of Christian branches bearing fruit; we speak of the Spirit. I mostly listen because the Holy Spirit is signaling his need to talk.
As the veteran cop speaks, so does the Spirit:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that is yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ~ Is 55:10-11
He talks through a sunrise that reveals rain drenched sidewalks. As the rain comes down...
I listen with air conditioning purring.
I listen, remembering the team, as the Spirit speaks; as a cop speaks.