Experiencing the candlelight vigil during Police Week is a powerful experience. Counting the cost of lives maimed, murdered, and marooned is the least we can do.
We honor the wounded and remember the lost. It is a time to heal, embrace loved ones, and dispense respect for humanity—something that originally coaxed us into the business of becoming a law officer.
There are few parallels to the moving experiences witnessed by the overwhelming sea of uniforms. But when the music stops, the crowds are dispersed, and you’re sitting alone on the couch at home, what then?
In our human frailty, we all need to come to grips with the end as we know it in our “earth suits.” That is why I will not be silent about answers that I believe God made available to us.
If you’re content with a godless existence, then so be it. Yet this is the reason—seeking answers to difficult questions about God—that I was motivated to co-author, Jurisdiction: A Cop and a Pastor Talk About Life. It is also the driving force behind the poem below; Counting the Cost.
Quite frankly, my disappointment with our justice system would be unimaginable if not for the absolute assurance I have discovered in God’s immaculate, incredible sovereignty. Regardless of your experiences during Police Week, I hope you consider the words that follow.
Counting the Cost
Honoring the wounded, remembering the lost
A candlelight vigil, counting the cost
Children bewildered, parents who grieve
The sheepdog’s life, was lost to thieves
Drained and void, sits the officer’s house
Yet filled with tears, from the widowed spouse
Brutal and barbaric, we call the acts
That took our partner, a vicious attack
Where do we go, with the pain and the loss?
From the dawn of creation, to the shadow of the cross
What an awful mess, cries the wounded heart
But with the God of our universe, salvation can start
A “new normal” begins, as we fall on our face
Yet the answers are found, in God’s healing grace
Eternity does not, begin with our last
But the life breathed in us, this too shall pass
God loves and wants us, but do we want Him?
Will we blame the Almighty, or allow Him in?
Death will always be, public enemy number one
But it’s an adversary that’s defeated, by God’s only Son
We can be carried to the table, a place we don’t belong
Lifted to the throne of God, with faith to make us strong
He will Shepherd us, the length of our days
May we respond to His mercy, and give Him praise
Not because of tragedy, or pain without love
But hope of a reunion, in heaven above!
Jim worked in military and civilian law enforcement for thirty-one years. While in the USAF he flew as a crewmember aboard the National Emergency Airborne Command Post—a presidential support detail. Following his military service, he served for twenty-eight years with the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, California where he retired as a lieutenant. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Southwest University and graduated from the prestigious Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute as well as the IACP course, Leadership in Police Organizations.