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Chaplain's Corner: The Roads to Jericho and Emmaus

Chaplain Bill Wolfe

Hello, and welcome to this September’s edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Friday night…September…and Texas…that means all roads lead to Jacket Stadium. Sting ’em, Jackets! Oh, sorry, got a little carried away there. I’m glad it’s September. That means it will start cooling down in a few weeks and our chances of rain should be going up. Hot and dry gets old pretty quick.

I guess it wouldn’t be too unusual for a patrol deputy to think about roads when there are miles and miles of miles and miles out here in western Llano County. I can head out of the City of Llano going north, south, west, southwest, or northwest and have nothing but ranch land for at least 13 miles, no matter which way I go. Boring to a lot of deputies, but I like it.

Well, what I wanted to visit with you about this time out isn’t concrete and asphalt. It’s not a state highway or even a ranch road. I want to focus for a few minutes on two roads mentioned in the Gospels, what happened there, and apply it to present day.

If you’ll permit me to pull out my “revised-slandered, slightly amplified, and loosely paraphrased” version of the Bible, I’ll try to condense a little and adapt the text into terms we in LE may relate to better.

OK, first is the account of the Road to Emmaus. (Luke 24: 13-19) Two officers were walking slowly back to the cop shop talking when a Subject they didn’t recognize joined them and began talking with them. He asked them what was going on, why they were so sad, and that He noticed they were wearing mourning bands on their badges. They came back with, “You’re not from these parts, are you?” He replied, “What’s happened?” “We’ve had a line-of-duty-death in our department. We’ve just had the funeral and some of us are taking it pretty hard.” The little group walked and chatted, and as they passed a little café, the men said “Would you care to get a cup of coffee with us?” When they were seated, the Stranger asked, “Have they held a debriefing yet? I’ve conducted a few and it helps to talk about it.”

The second is probably familiar to a lot of you. It’s called the Parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10: 30-35) A police widow on her way home dropped to the roadside, crushed and broken, unable to face going on. An officer from the husband’s department passed by, and feeling awkward, not knowing what to say, crossed over to the other side of the street. A little later a neighbor came down the street and, seeing the widow’s distress, didn’t want to get involved and crossed the street and went another way. Some time passes and a third individual comes down the street and sees the widow in her distress and can relate. This woman sits down beside the grieving widow and begins to speak words of comfort … “I, too, am a survivor. Let me help you.”

Perhaps some of you can find yourself in one or the other of these little stories or know someone who might fit. LODDs take a heavy toll on survivors, be they coworkers or family members – as if you didn’t already know that.

The “good news,” and you may already be aware of this, is that there is an organization whose sole purpose is to bring survivors together to help other survivors rebuild their shattered lives. The name of the organization is “Concerns of Police Survivors” – C.O.P.S. The message I want to share with you is that you don’t have to deal with pain and loss all by yourself. There are others who have “been there, done that, don’t want the T-shirt” and are ready to come alongside and help you.

Someone has turned the story of the Good Samaritan into a little chorus sung at church: ♫ “He found me bleeding and dying on the Jericho Road…” ♪ Now after having become the Chaplain for the Central Texas Chapter of C.O.P.S., every time I hear that chorus, I think of survivors and the pain they bear each and every day. The chorus continues: “And He poured in the oil and the wine, the kind that restoreth my soul…” Yes, God and time play a big role in the healing process, but so do friends who have been down that road and can relate to where you are.

You can find out more about the programs that C.O.P.S. offers by going to their website at The national website also has all the state chapters and contact persons listed. I encourage you to contact the closest chapter and let them help get the healing started. If you’ve not had the misfortune to have experienced a LODD in your department, perhaps you’d consider a financial donation to your nearest C.O.P.S. Chapter.

Hey, thanks for listening and helping us help others.

Blessings to you and yours.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 2 years ago


    The incident you mentioned is truly sad however, it is essential to support those who are going through a hard time. Even if you can not help out with money just unclutter your house and find some old but useful items and donate these items.

  • Spring_2008_111_max50


    over 6 years ago


    I like your “revised-slandered, slightly amplified, and loosely paraphrased” version of the Bible for law enforcement! It works great to get the point accross.

  • Police3_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Hey Chaplain Bill Wolfe, thank you for taking the time to write your articles which help us to grow. I guess we all have either crossed the road, kept walking and passed by, stopped, sat and listened or been laid out on the side of the road. Your efforts mean a lot, Kambertyn

  • 125073_rossi_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Hi Chaplain. I have been away for a while, i just got a chance to read your article. I would like to say thank you and god bless. I have a strong shoulder for any one who needs it.I won't cross the street I am always there for my fellow brothers and sisters,and any one else for that matter.

  • Paladin


    over 6 years ago


    Thank you Chaplain!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    Thanks for a great message Chaplain.

  • Honolulupoliceshield_max160_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Very good article, Thank you Chaplain.

  • Meandalli_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Great article!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    What an insightful and uplifting article! I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks you so much and may His blessings be upon you.

  • 2009_cbr1000rr_2000x1275_blueorangewhitered_42515b_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Outstanding article Bill! Keep up the good work!

  • Mewed_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Thanks Buddy.

  • 10328_1227533121835_1034251829_716798_6611953_n_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Wonderful article, thanks Chaplain this is something to share with my fellow officers

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago

    A wonderful article! Thanks Chaplain Bill for sharing this great peace of information! Good bless you in all ways!

  • Alice_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Well said. Thank you for the article. I will visit the C.O.P.S. website.

  • Cathy2011_max50


    over 6 years ago


    As a surviving spouse and President of Greater Houston C.O.P.S., I want to personally thank you Chaplain Bill for writing this article. I saw it the other day from another source and saw how you plugged my chapter and I appreciate you doing that. I wanted you to know that I appreciated what you wrote not only for what you wrote about Concerns of Police Survivors but how you wrote to help each other. A survivor is more than just the spouse, child, parent, sibling, of the officer. It is also the co-worker of the officer. We are in this loss together. We can all heal together and as a family, we want to heal together with you the co-worker. We don't want you to stop coming around. We don't want you to feel uncomfortable around us. We know that you don't know what to say to us because believe me, we don't know what to say either. Truth be know, nothing needs to be said. Just sit with each other. So silence is uncomfortable for you, that is okay. The silence will bring a conversation and the conversation will bring a relationship that will bring healing for everyone. It does more harm if you stay away from the family. Be a part of your own healing process, be a part of the family. Heal together. You will be so glad you did. Remember that you are all walking through the journey together. We always say that we are the greatest friends we wish we had never met.

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