Chaplain's Corner: What If Daniel Had Been a Cop?
Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff's Department
Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner.
My last column took a look at the Old Testament character of Jonah and the whale and speculated how that might have gone down had Jonah been a LEO. In much the same vein, I want to try relating the account of Daniel in the lion’s den. (Again, let me make the disclaimer that Biblical accounts and teachings don’t always carry forward with 100% correlation to AD 2008 illustrations.) Okay, here we go:
The situation is that Daniel was an Assistant Chief of Police in the realm of Babylon and in line to be promoted to Executive Chief. He was held in such high esteem by the current Police Chief that he was the “heir apparent” should the Chief decide to step aside.
Well, as you could probably guess, that esteem wasn’t universally held, and the other Assistant Chiefs and certain SWAT Commanders got jealous. I mean, after all, Daniel was an “outsider.” And not just an “outsider.” They might have been able to cope with a Fighting Irishman or even an Arkansas Razorback, but Daniel was a BAYLOR BEAR! So they formed a conspiracy and went to IAD to try and find some accusation against him so that the Chief of Police would have to get rid of him. After wracking his brain for some time, the head of IAD came back and said, “Nup. Nothing doing. Daniel’s as clean as a fresh piece of copy paper.” It was decided that if they were to get anything to use, it would have to be a Separation of Church and State issue…something to do with his professed religious faith.
Once that was decided, they wondered how they would get rid of Daniel after they had the “offense.” The Assistant Chief over Narcotics snapped his fingers and piped up: “I know! Let’s take Daniel into the area of the City with worst drug and gang activity around 2200 hours, handcuff him to the steering wheel of a black and white, take the keys to the car and leave him there. In the morning he’ll just be another LODD. There was a unanimous agreement, so they plotted together and got the Chief of Police to hand down P&P which, for all intents and purposes outlawed Daniel’s prayer life and faith in Daniel’s God.
Now everything was in place. They knew Daniel well enough to know that he’d never abide by the P&P, so they set him up. They caught him at prayer and hauled him before IAD and the Chief of Police himself. The Chief and Daniel had become close friends, and the Chief realized too late how the conspirators had used him. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to send Daniel on his one-way vacation. But the Chief was NOT a happy camper. All night long the Chief worried about Daniel. He paced the floor, tossed sofa pillows around the room, and made more than a few choice comments about the conspirators.
The first thing the next morning, about daylight, the Chief ran to Dispatch, grabbed the radio, and called: “Daniel? Daniel – Status check.” … an eternity-long moment of silence. “Daniel to Dispatch, I’m 10-8, in service and ready to roll.” The Chief could hardly believe his ears! He ran to his car and made a beeline to Daniel’s location.
Religion and Policing
When he got there he found Daniel free from his handcuffs, sitting in the driver’s seat, eating Shipley’s donuts and drinking coffee. The Chief asked Daniel what had happened after he was left there. Daniel replied “You may not believe it, but God sent His Angel to watch over me. I was just sitting there handcuffed to the steering wheel when I looked up and saw the biggest, meanest gang member you can imagine…tats, weapons, chains…the whole nine yards. He came right over to the car, reached in through the window and unlocked my cuffs, and told me to ‘just chill out.’ Then he hopped up on the hood of the car, leaned back against the windshield and hollered out: ‘You gotta get through me to get to him.’ I just tuned the “good time radio” to the gospel station, thanked the Lord for His provision and went to sleep. When your radio call woke me up this morning this huge man smiled real big, handed me coffee and donuts – and disappeared.”
Well, to quickly sum it up – the Chief was some impressed with Daniel’s God, and Daniel got promoted to Executive Chief of Police. And the conspirators? Well, let’s just say that “forgive and forget” was not an attitude for which the Chief of Police was known.
So what lessons does this little piece of recorded history teach? I’m glad you asked. The first is that Daniel had truly sold out to God and sought His will for Daniel’s life, and because of that God blessed Daniel and gave him favor with his superiors. Second, sometimes even when you’re trying your best to live for God, things can go wrong big-time through no fault of yours. And last but not least, when you’re 100% on God’s team, He’ll get you through the really rough spots.
Thanks for listening. Gotta run. Blessings to you and yours.