It is a beautiful morning and I am watching Robins reap the benefits of a spring shower on the lawn out front. It is also Easter, and I won’t be celebrating among friends and family, a custom that has always been deeply satisfying. I am not a clergyman, in fact , as in the cases of most folks, have not always toed the line as our faith dictates. Why is it that I know the existence of an all powerful Lord?
I was introduced to Christianity by a mother who fervently believed in the Master. Honestly, it was still an abstract concept until I stepped out of a helicopter in the Republic of Vietnam, where I was introduced to man’s inhumanity to man. At that point you are forced to place your fate in the hands of the rifleman next to you and the Lord. Combat changes every participant, life becomes faster, and your mind is seared with images that are unspeakable. Some folks are so deeply scarred, their lives are shortened. After this experience, I returned home and donned another uniform, that of a Highway Patrolman. The images seared into my consciousness of the things I have seen and touched once again narrowed my focus to my fellow officers and, yes, the Master. The inhumanity is even more disconcerting, as the setting is in a civilized world, unlike that of a war zone. After every gruesome scene, I have paused to thank God for the tools to manage the event and the inevitable interaction with the friends and family of those taken.
When notifying the next of kin, time permitting, I made it a practice to bring a member of the clergy with me. Their introduction of God into the inevitable chaos and shock was always effective in lending dignity to an extremely undignified situation. I have watched prayer assuage the first few elements of grief in a manner that I could not. I investigated the death of another Trooper’s son, run over in front of the family as they worked in the yard. This family was a strong Christian family, and I was amazed at the calming effect of God’s presence in the room as I talked about the details attendant to the accident. This tragedy was compounded by the circumstances. It was a good neighbor who ran over the child. When the Captain arrived just after the accident, tears flowed from everyone in that room, including me. It was the Lord’s presence that saved the moment.
So it is that today, I am reminded the Master has never failed me, as survival in my business requires far more than a sympathetic nod from mortal man. My business over a lifetime of involvement with the darkest side of life has tested me in many ways. It still does today in the memories that will not fade.
From experience, I know the existence of God. Our current tempest is again testing our mettle and fraying our resolve. Take a deep breath this Easter morning and reflect on what we have, not on what we are losing. He has never failed me, and He will not fail you!