We often form opinions based on what we hear. Unfortunately, what we hear is not always true. Our opinions or judgments, whether right or wrong, still influence our behavior—but all of that can change.
I shied away from police officers in my early years, because I had heard people talk about bad cops. I also watched the news and recalled stories about cops that involved either bad guys or bad things happening like accidents and injuries. All of this frightened me.
In 2007, I saw police officers and sheriff’s deputies in a different setting—church—and in a different light. They greeted visitors, helped individuals in need of assistance, and provided security. Many exhibited a deep commitment not only to their community and their profession but also to their faith.
God worked through my corrected image of peace officers to reveal another facet of His true character. He is not an authority figure who will hurt us or disregard us if we make mistakes. God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us in spite of our failures and weaknesses. He shields us from harm and defends us from others who wrong us. In every life emergency, God shows up first to offer us aid and restore order.
A few years ago, I took an important step that helped me overcome any remaining fear of law enforcement and allowed me to partner with local police for the good of my community. I attended a Citizen’s Police Academy in my hometown. Learning about the role of a peace officer from the peace officers in my city and county gave me a deep appreciation and respect for their unique calling.
My poem, A Tribute to Peace Officers, expresses what I learned about peace officers when I took time to understand them and what they do. I hope these words enable all of us to see peace officers for who they are—helping heroes handcrafted by God. What’s more, I hope we clearly see God as the One who treasures us enough to watch over us, protect us, and support us in our time of need.
In honor of National Police Week, I encourage you to download A Tribute to Peace Officers and share it with law enforcement officers and their families and friends. This poem also serves as a wonderful guide on how to pray for the law enforcement community. Thank you in advance for your prayers.