before we go any further I would like to say that no matter which side you are on, even if you are Switzerland, everyone’s hearts are hurting. There has been more heartache and pain in the last few months than we may ever be able to understand. This is also not a political post, just the thoughts from the heart of one girl whose dad wears a badge. Please, no hateful comments towards myself or anyone else. Grieve, pray, seek peace in this chaos. Do not bring more fuel to this raging wild-fire.
I want to start by saying to those of whom want the worst for the Police in this country,
I forgive you.
I forgive you for chanting words that make my heart drop into my stomach knowing the words that leave your mouth are directed at my dad and his brothers and sisters in blue.
I forgive you for spitting in officer’s face.
I forgive you for posting videos that show the ugly side of police work. (But nowhere near the ugliest)
I forgive you for the assumptions and accusations made before all the facts come out.
I forgive you for not really knowing the person behind the badge.
To you who hate our police, that is all they are. A man in an intimidating uniform.
While you are standing up for your minority, fighting because you are treated unfairly… there is another minority that I (a 19-year-old, white female) belong to.
I belong to the minority whose family member is the one in the uniform. There is a side to these men, women, and their families that only few know about.
You see, growing up with a dad whose job requires that he wears a bullet proof vest and various weapons on his belt is not something most children experience.
While you may have watched your dad put on a suit and tie for work I watched mine put on a bullet proof vest. On that black vest, written in white was his blood type and “take me to Vandy.”
I remember being only 5 or 6 and asking why it said that on his vest and why he always had to wear it. The response was, “incase anything happens and I am unconscious, they have the information they need to take care of me.”
As a 5-year-old I realized that every time my dad leaves the house he puts on all of these things with full knowledge that it may mean he could be injured or killed.
These men in uniform were part of my childhood. I remember on several occasions having multiple officers sitting around our table eating dinner.
These officers were at my birthday parties, get-together at home. They work on my cars, I babysit their children.
Many detectives will buy their clothes at goodwill because they say the smell of a dead body just doesn’t come out of clothes.
Most officers carry blankets or stuffed animals in the trunk of their car. When parents are being arrested or the children are involved in an incident, the officer will give the child something to comfort them.
Police Officers are never off duty. It isn’t a job they chose to do, it is a job that chose them. They never stop doing their job. They stop when they see a car on the side of the road to see if they can help. They see 1000 things at once, they are always aware of what is going on around them. Their instinct is to protect and serve, even when it puts them in harm’s way.
If your family gets a little to aggravated with each other at Thanksgiving and fights break out or the police are called… well that means somebody’s dad, mom, sister, brother, wife, husband was just ripped away from their family to help yours.
Several times dad would be at thanksgiving or Christmas in uniform or with his police radio on. He could be ripped away at a moment’s notice.
When natural disasters hit the area and business close down, people don’t work for weeks, that’s when officers will work double or triple overtime. Whether its 3 feet of snow or streets turned into rivers, they cannot just call out. They go in any way.
In the videos from the Dallas shooting you see protesters running away at the sound of gunfire. (as most sane people would). You also see officers working to get civilians to safety as they run towards the sounds of bullets being shot.
Please notice the irony.
The officers are well aware that the people protesting are not a cop’s biggest fan.
Yet, when the public was in danger, I guarantee not a single officer thought twice about protecting the people of their city.
The officers were the targets.
And they ran towards the bullets.
That is the heart of someone who wants to protect the people, no matter the cost.
They see horrific things. Over and over again they experience the worst days of others’ lives. They are the bearer of bad news when someone has been killed. They are the enforcers of the law when someone is arrested.
The truth is that most police are not these scary, heartless animals that the media makes them out to be. Most of them are more like Charlie, Bella’s Dad from twilight. They care deeply about the people who they have sworn to protect.
So, I forgive you.
You don’t see the side we the families see.
While I don’t see the world from your side, you don’t see it from mine either.
So instead of making assumptions and walking miles to protest this or the other, why don’t we walk a mile in the other’s shoes?
Blessed are the peacemakers.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
We will never fully understand the hatred and evil that lives inside this world and inside all of us.
The way we combat this war is by holding the hands of what the world has told us are our enemies. We stand side by side, saying we are not going to stand for the hatred anymore, from either side.
We approach this with sympathy, an open mind, and a giving heart.
Jesus himself didn’t fight evil with more evil covered by a prayer.
We have to first seek to be Christ like, before we can ever react in a way that is like Christ.
We are called to love our enemies. We have been forgiven of all the sins we have or will commit. So who are we to keep forgiveness from someone else? We are not worthy of the forgiveness we have been given.
So, though my heart still aches and fear for my dad’s safety overwhelms me,
I forgive you.