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Dealing With Uncertainty In Law Enforcement

Dealing With Uncertainty In Law Enforcement

As people of faith, we often wonder what we can do for others, especially for those in need. Ultimately, we seek help when things are out of our control and we can’t fix it. Is it a sign of powerlessness when we say, “We must pray for one another”? Spiritual leaders say that to do so is to acknowledge that we belong to each other. Thus, it is through prayer that we can, and do, help.

In the last several months, I’ve watched our social networking and Internet outlets burst with mentions of prayer. I’m interested in the fuss. Granted, we’ve recently come out of the Easter holiday, National Police Week, and the supposed apocalypse, however, viral statements of “prayers for” or “please pray for” are dominate phrases in a relatively outward, social network made up of family and friends but, moreover, acquaintances and work colleagues.

Are we banding together in response to our line of duty deaths and a war on cops? Perhaps we are weary and in need of hope or having difficulty coping with the burdens of a profession that offers little guidance. Is the pronouncement of prayer just lip service? Does it have meaning or is it the perception of praying that makes it authentic? Does everyone else share in this same spiritual cry for help?

This social networking phenomenon has intrigued me because people are more likely to express their feelings over an email, text, tweet or status update so as not to be fearful of a confrontation or judgment associated with a personal encounter. So why be afraid? While I think there’s a correlation between our prayers and the rising number of deaths and assaults on our law enforcement officers today, I also think that we are at a tipping point in what has been considered secular humanism (a false teaching that all things are “relative” and that there are no absolutes).

Are we considered to be intolerant, out of touch, and narrow-minded unless we embrace all lifestyles and faith? These were questions posed to me by a police chaplain. It forced me to contemplate my own vulnerability while searching for something higher to intercede in making order out of chaos—chaos that we all share. So if we are to “pray,” what are we to pray about? To whom must we pray for?

Let me preface this article by noting that, personally, I’m a work in progress. That is, I’m not in the final term of my “being.” That said, I have a lot of work to do. I often feel left to my own design—in a constant state of desperate stress—looking to find strength and grace on my own. In an existential way, I have always looked for security and comfort in a life of chaos and uncertainty. Although religious, I never really considered myself a praying man, but then I was called to law enforcement—a spiritual vocation—and a lot changed.

After initial schooling and training in military science and kinesiology, I remember waking up one day and declaring, “I’m going to be a cop!” I was 19. I switched gears. I changed majors. I took an oath. Like a hermit crab, I left one shell for another—except this one seemed to fit better. It was larger, more durable, and gave me shelter to grow. It was during this “growth” that I smacked head on with chaos and uncertainty. It was far greater than I had ever experienced or imagined. Every cop knows this chaos. It’s often ugly and wrought with frustration and anxiety. I didn’t always understand it or how to function and thrive in it. I was often confused and seemingly without a beacon or light to show me the way.

Let me share with you a personal story to put this into perspective. If you’ve ever been to college, you’ve had an academic advisor and often that advisor is a professor too. They give you advice, counsel you on your academic welfare, and teach you to look outside of the box—to use critical thinking to challenge the status quo—and to make order out of chaos (there’s that chaos word again). Easy enough, right? I was a full-time criminal justice student while I worked full-time as a deputy sheriff. Not so weird. At the same time, I came to realize that my advisor/professor had an alcohol problem.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Thanks, wonderful article. Good job.

  • Wp_000042_max50


    over 3 years ago


    God bless you all. And yes, blessed are the peacemakers, for all that you do to keep us safe and secure in our homes, at school, and walking down the street. Your burden is great, may the God of Peace watch over and protect all LEOs.

  • Hogstand


    over 3 years ago


    Thanks gents! Great feedback thus far. Will be following this article up with some tangible opportunities to express ourselves on behalf of others.

  • Hogstand


    over 3 years ago


    Thanks M.C. Will follow up with some of your comments (and those of our other spiritual warriors) in the next article.

  • 309


    over 3 years ago


    You can be a man/woman of faith or not...but one thing is for sure, what goes around comes around and what you put into your life be it good or bad is what you will get in return. When it comes to the bottom line, it's just you and what you believe in. Great article.

  • Segway-police-unit-china_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Cops are people. And people are all subject to the same divine laws. User your POWER to selfish means and be punished for it when the jig is up. It doesn't matter if your a gangster, a police man, a drug dealer, a CEO, or a politician. When you hang your hat up for the day, who did you serve and who did you protect? Great article. :)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Thanks Brian. I'm going to stir the proverbial pot here for a moment (but then that's what I do) by pointing out that for prayer to have any meaning, purpose or effectiveness at all, it must be directed to the ONLY One who can answer it! God's inerrant word (the Bible -- a text that has never been disproven despite all the wasted effort to do so) is clear: it is only through a right relationship (relationship -- not religion) with God through Christ that we can be saved and have any assurance that our prayers will be heard. That's my call and my sense of urgency in sharing Christ's love and hope with my brothers in blue. That said, it is through effective, fervant prayer from those made rightous in Christ (James 5:16) that we can truly change both our hurting profession and country. To it!
    Det. Sgt. M.C. Williams

  • Cruise_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Anyone who is in LE and has some form of faith will tell you that there are times when our prayers are more intensified and then there are times when you just need a little comfort. I don't recite any particular prayer, but I will invoke a sentiment that I think is appropriate for the situation. Checking a home for a burglar, to me, requires a different sort of prayer than praying for the well-being of an elderly person who is being loaded into an ambulance for perhaps the last time.

  • Derrick_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The Lords Prayer has always been how I start off praying. GOD knows what you need you pray for others and they pray for you. It's about your relationship with GOD and how much Faith you have in the word of GOD. I believe there was only one who Interceded on our behalf and that one is Jesus the Christ. GOD BLESS ALL WHO PUT THEIR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.

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