Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Prayer Request from a Friend

A respected friend wrote the other day asking prayer for her son, a law enforcement officer. One of his colleagues was killed in the barracks, and her son has been pulled away from his regular duties and assigned to a search for the suspect. I should add that “his regular duties” do not seem to include (much) sitting beside the road waiting for opportunities to extract money from people who have not done any actual harm.
Searching for a murderer—and while my fondness for people with uniforms and guns is in general limited, I would call this incident murder until evidence otherwise surfaces—is a legitimate activity, and given my respect for the mother and a therefore well-grounded assumption that the LEO will carry out his duties with a Christian sense of responsibility, I consider it a privilege to pray for the young man.
But I am also praying that this incident will cause that young man to ask some needed questions.
I am reminded of the leveling years ago of Fallujah, Iraq, after the corpses of four mercenary soldiers were “desecrated.” That the men had been killed was not the issue, nor how they had been killed. It was the treatment of the dead skin and bones that prompted a response worthy of a herd of enraged elephants in a village in India, or the army of a beast like Xerxes or Genghis Khan.
Let’s assume the officer in charge of the Fallujah operation consulted the Urim and Thummim and got God’s go-ahead to destroy the city and kill those who resisted. Would he have done the same thing if the mistreated corpses had belonged to aid workers from Samaritan’s Purse? How about if they had belonged to ten-year-old Iraqi girls? To ask is to answer, right?
If the murder victim had been—oh, I don’t know, how about yours truly?—would the officer currently in charge of the search for the cop killer have pulled my friend’s son off his duties to look for the perp?
The death and destruction in Fallujah had nothing to do with concern over life created in the image of God. It was one armed gang taking revenge on another for what amounts to an insult. I suspect, the same is true, mutatis mutandis, in my friend’s son’s case. You can say all you want that “the death of one we pay to protect us is an attack against us all,” but given that the dead man was more likely to fine me for doing something he does every day in his tax-funded car with the lights and sirens off than to save me from true miscreants—and given court rulings that the law enforcement caste is under no obligation to protect us—I don’t believe it.
So yes, I hope they find the murderer. I hope some enterprising journalist visits him in his cell to find out his side of the story, even if there’s nothing there but murder. I hope my friend’s son comports himself in the process in a way that gives him an opportunity to share how God has worked in his life. But I also hope he at least asks himself whether he is protecting a society in which “all men are created equal”—or, more importantly, all men are created in the image of God, rebels against God though we all be—or if he is part of a caste system that in the name of protecting its subjects truly exists for its own benefit.

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