Looking for Trouble
Someone told me that law enforcement is the only profession in which an individual goes out looking for trouble. This is true! But let me share with you what “trouble” looks like.
Trouble looks like a homeless woman curled up on the sidewalk in the middle of the day, in a puddle of her own excrement, crying and hungry. By her own admission she is “tortured by a demon who won’t shut up and says he walks the earth to bring shame to people.”
Trouble looks like a high school girl who is constantly out past curfew just hanging out with no purpose.
Trouble looks like a speeding driver, anxious to get to a destination, running stop signs.
Trouble looks like the group of known gang members having a BBQ in the park.
Trouble is the far off sound of screeching tires.
Trouble is the too-close sound of automatic gunfire.
Trouble is the voices raised behind closed doors, and even the complete silence on an empty street on a warm night.
What does a cop do? He assists that homeless woman to her feet. She tearfully cries that she is too soiled and embarrassed to sit in his car but that cop assures her it is of no consequence. He feeds her from his own lunchbox. He finds her shelter and medical help and prays for her right there on the street, in the filth, in the public eye. He meets her needs right where she is at.
The cop pulls that young high school girl aside and asks her why she is out so late. He drives her home only to discover her home is the local homeless shelter where she has been staying with her mother for over a year. This young girl hates being there and who can blame her? He helps her mom find a job and provides a continuous source of encouragement as the only male figure in both of their lives.
The cop pulls over the speeding driver to find there is a 2 year old in the front seat, with no car seat and no seat belt. He buys that mother a car seat and educates her on the dangers of not using it.
The cop goes out to the gang members in the park to make his presence known. His searching eyes find guns and drugs stashed within reach. When the scene is cleared up, he picks up all the garbage left behind and throws it in the dumpster. Within minutes young neighborhood children are happily playing basketball on the courts.
The cop seeks out the screeching tires and stops a sideshow before someone gets hurt ghost riding.
The cop chases gunfire hoping to get there before someone, ANYONE, innocent or otherwise, gets hurt or killed.
The cop knocks on a strangers door to make sure that a verbal argument doesn’t once again escalate into a physical fight.
The cop slowly drives the quiet neighborhood with piercing eyes looking for ANYTHING out of place because he knows that nights such as these are fore bearers of the worst kinds of trouble. He hopes to minimize whatever is coming or engage it so no one else has to.
Cops go looking for trouble. They love trouble! Why? Because at the center of trouble is the opportunity to serve. Service can be a ticket, an arrest, a comforting shoulder, a barrier between bullets and bodies, and even an intrusion into your privacy.
A cop stalks trouble like trouble stalks you. Cops do their job for love of others, not for love of themselves. There’s more to being a cop then what is portrayed by the media.
The most amazing acts of service will never reach the media but God sees them and through each of these acts he reaches the intended – the servant and the served.