Chaplain's Corner: What If Jonah Had Been a Cop?
Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff's Department
Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner.
I believe that God is to be revered, respected, and worshiped in keeping with His awesome majesty. But I also believe that He has a sense of humor and that He doesn’t mind if we take a light-hearted look at Bible characters as long as we’re respectful.
I’d been thinking about God understanding the 10-code (or whatever code your department uses) and police jargon, and our not having to worry about being able to communicate with Him. That’s when the Old Testament account of Jonah came to mind.
Since not all 10-codes are the same, here are the ones I’m using: 10-6 – busy, 10-7 – unavailable ,10-8 – available, 10-24 – call complete, 10-56 – intoxicated individual, 10-96 – mental patient.
So, how might the story have gone if Jonah was a patrol officer?
“Jonah – this is God on tach.” “Go ahead, Lord.” “Jonah, when you’re not 10-6, public service dispatch and have them patch you through to me at HQ.” “10-4.”
“God, this is Jonah, what’s up?” “Jonah, I’ve decide that something has to be done about the crime problem in Nineveh. So I’ve decided to transfer you to the Community Policing Project, and I want you to go down there. I’ve got confidence that you can get the job done.”
Jonah grabs his radio: “Uuhhh, Dispatch? This is Jonah. God’s either 10-56 or 10-96.” “Jonah, that’s NOT funny.” “Now, God, I know you’re not into profilin’ and you really liked that cultural diversity course, but Nineveh just ain’t no place for somebody like ME! You just do what You’ve got to do, but leave me out. I’m 10-7!”
So Jonah hooks it and hops the first Greyhound out of town, not knowing that God is following in an unmarked unit. The bus doesn’t get out of the state before God and some SWAT units light ‘em up. Well, naturally, the bus driver gets scared. As he’s pulling over, Jonah runs up and tells the driver just to chuck him off the bus and everything will be ok. The driver does just that. No sooner does Jonah hit the pavement than the SWAT team sacks him up and bodily transfers him to Animal Control. Needless to say, Jonah is surprised to find himself in Animal Control, but at first he thinks it’s better than Community Policing, especially in Nineveh. But after three days in the depths of the pound with all its wonderful smells, Jonah decides that he didn’t spend all that time in the academy for this.
“God, this is Jonah on tach, are you 10-6?” “Jonah, this is God. What’s up?” “I’ve decided that if you’ll put me back in my unit, I’ll take the transfer. Heck, I’ll even help them start a DARE program! But we both know that this plan of yours doesn’t have a prayer.”
And almost before he knows it, Jonah is in a clean uniform sitting in his car. “God – this is Jonah. I’ll be enroute to Nineveh.” So, Jonah goes off to Nineveh and in almost no time has the DARE program going and the crime rate plummeting. But is Jonah a happy camper? Noooooo.
“God? This is Jonah on tach.” “Go ahead, Jonah.” “I’m 10-24, 10-8. Looks like it worked, but I still can’t believe you didn’t cuff and stuff the lot of ‘em. You know they all belong in the State Pen!” “Jonah, if you hadn’t been successful, I would have had to send them there; but you were, so now I don’t have to. That’s better for all concerned. Besides … Jonah?“ “Yes, sir?” “That’s why you’re in Community Policing and I’m in Administration.”
Catch you next shift.