Hug a cop today

Published 9:43 am Thursday, January 10, 2013

To the editor:

I would like to begin this letter by quoting a few lines from a lady named Tammy Towe who lost her dear husband in a tragic accident.

“Two years ago, tomorrow, was the day for me and my family that no one sees coming, especially at Christmas. December 22, 2010, my husband Randy was driving home alone. He went into cardiac arrest and crashed. He left us (his family of seven) three days before Christmas. For two years I have wanted to thank each of you that gave and spent your Christmas week with us. I wanted to wait to write this article until I could find all the right words to say to show you just how special you are to me and how much you have meant to us. It has taken me this long to realize that all the words in the universe, wrote perfectly, could never describe or show how much you gave me and our kids that week. Many of you put your happy white Christmas away to spend a sad Christmas with us. I thank you.

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My first strengthening moment happened at the scene when you, Highway Patrol Officer Jason Metcalf carried me from the scene, took your hat off and knelt with me by the car. While holding my hand, you spoke the most humbling words as you asked for strength and wisdom for me to get through those difficult days. Your empathy, integrity and compassion will always be remembered. It is certain God had you working that area, that day, for me. I thank you.”

Most of us get a queasy feeling when we look in our rearview mirror and see a law enforcement officer right behind us (especially if we’ve been going a little too fast). Have we ever stopped to think just how brave these men and women are, and how they put their lives on the line every single day? Much of their lives are spent staring evil in the face, and many times they see humanity at its lowest point.

That person the officer stops for speeding on the interstate, who has lost his home, his family, his job — everything lost except his dog in the seat beside him, and oh, the gun that he plans to end his life with. The officer spends much time with him, and ends up getting him the help he needs to save his life.

Or maybe the elderly nursing home resident, who has slipped away from the facility and plans to step out in front of a car, so that he will stop being a burden on others.

Romans 13 is explicit in establishing authority and why we should obey the authorities. They are God’s servants for our good. I would like to challenge you to begin this new year by praying daily for all those in authority — especially those in every area of law enforcement (also our firefighters and EMS personnel), so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty. First of all, pray for their protection according to Psalm 91. Pray that God will give them wisdom and the ability to make split-second decisions.  Pray that they will be men and women of integrity and will be compassionate toward others. Pray for the peace of God that passes all understanding to keep their hearts and minds. Pray also for their families, that fear would be replaced by peace.

By the way, the highway patrol officer referenced above happens to be my nephew. I remember standing by my sister’s side 30-some years ago, when hands were laid on her and petition was made for a special anointing to be imparted to the unborn child. God has certainly been faithful to his word.

Thanks to all who will join me in this special assignment.

– Tina Melton, Columbus