Love…such a mushy word for us rugged cop types. At least that is the persona many carry around in this profession. The truth of the matter is that we all need to be loved, to feel loved, and to reciprocate in the giving of that love.
One afternoon several months ago, I finished watching a news program and then directed my attention to other things. As the television continued to play, I overheard the conversation between two actors on a soap opera. In the scene, a bar owner talked about the success of his business. He explained that a person can buy a bottle of alcohol for $20, but will pay $200-300 one glass at a time in order to sit with others and talk. He asserted, “We’re not in the business of selling booze. We’re selling a cure for loneliness.”
The Creation story of Genesis reveals that we have a need for relationship with God. It also reveals that we have need for relationships with others (Gen 2:18) – healthy, fulfilling relationships that remove our loneliness or “aloneness.” Far too often, however, humanity seeks out the cure for this aloneness through unfulfilling and illegitimate means. Cops are good at this, or at least covering up what really takes place on the inside.
Cops deal daily with people who are hurting, hurt others, and live in the most unloving environments. And yet, in a way, we exude love by the very nature and sacrifice of the service we provide. Jesus said of Himself, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NASB). Then, in John 15:12, He says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Sounds just like cops – serving others, putting our lives on the line for others, and many have even given their lives. The Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) lists 152 line-of-duty deaths to date for 2010.
I am grateful for those officers and the sacrifice they made, and still I must point out that there is no redeeming quality to their deaths. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was sinless and blameless. His sacrifice provides salvation and wholeness for all who enter into relationship with Him. It was the ultimate sacrifice of love from a God who does not simply love us, but is by nature love (1 John 4:8). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). And moreover, He took the initiative in loving us first (1 John 4:19), and demonstrated such profound love in that even while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Not that we could, but it becomes fairly clear that He does not want or expect us to earn His love.
So why then do we continuously look for other avenues of fulfillment? Is it because we have difficulty comprehending such enormous and generous love? Is it because the love God has for us is best experienced through healthy relationships, and we struggle to foster such relationships? Maybe we become jaded by our experiences and refuse to open up to the possibilities of love…or a loving God. Perhaps those are topics for another day.
What is it for you? What do you hide behind? Extra jobs? The job itself? Gun collection? Other “toys”? Choir practice? Will you open up to the healing experience of God’s love?
I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. – Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT
Marriage and family organizations from across the nation are partnering in a joint venture to bring health and healing to families everywhere. My vision is to see this movement impact our profession as God transforms our hearts with the genuine experience of His love. Coming soon: www.loveishere.com.