This past week our family traveled to Colorado to spend some time with my husband’s family. His father retired two February’s ago after twenty-three years as a Chicago policeman.
(This picture was taken in 2005, our oldest on the right and our nephew on the left wearing Christmas gifts of winter coats. They are modeled after my FIL’s coat and had Chicago police badges on the sleeve.)
As we watched the news on Thursday and Friday I couldn’t help but observe my FIL’s reactions. He silently watched, walking out of the room occasionally until Friday morning when the new death count was announced of fallen Dallas policemen.
He said, “In twenty-three years I personally knew four co-workers who died, I just can’t imagine the impact this is going to have.” He was fighting tears and all I could do was listen. No solutions were offered. No commentary on how people should act or how gun reform should continue. Simply a moment of mourning for a situation he understood personally.
My husband has taken a proactive approach with our sons regarding future interactions with police. Just as his father taught him years ago, he is reinforcing the ideas with our boys that behaviors and actions can be misinterpreted and communication is vital. Beyond that, it is hard to know what to say or do.
We live in a broken world. We are a broken people. There is nothing rationale about a man targeting another man and shooting him because he feels like it. There is nothing redeeming about a man murdering another man out of hate. Race, gender, employment, hometown, religious affiliation, and lifestyle choice have all been cited as excuses for past murders committed by both men and women, and yet these are the very things that make our country as wonderfully diverse as it is.
Processing so many terrible events in a short amount of time can create feelings of helplessness, fear, and depression. The only actions I can take charge of are my own, and I must begin with prayer. I’m still processing, striving to see both sides of this issue, fighting the instinct to ignore the hard and instead looking inward and upward. Just like my FIL, I can’t imagine the impact to the Dallas community. I ache for these situations to end, for peace and harmony to transcend our country. That heartache will become the beginning of my prayers. Where will you begin?
(photo credit http://nhphoto.org/)