It’s been a week since Dallas became the leading story on the news around the world. As the wife of a police officer in the DFW metroplex, I’ve never been more thankful to be in the mountains of Wyoming as I was last Thursday night. As my family and I were taking in our last few hours of the serenity the Teton Mountains have to offer, we were quickly brought back to reality as our phones started blowing up and our newsfeeds filled with the tragedy happening in our backyard at home.
Friday morning, my husband, my kids, and I spent some time in solitude as we drove to catch a flight to land in a city in turmoil. It was during that drive that my emotions were on high and I wrote this:
My stomach hurts, there’s a lump in my throat, and I can feel the tears on the brink of spilling over, yet I try to hold everything together, because I want to be strong for my family. I’ve never felt more pain than I do right now.
Thirteen years ago when my husband was sworn in as a police officer, I printed the words of Psalm 91 and placed them in a small pocket of the bulletproof vest that laid directly over his chest. I committed at that point to pray for not only his safety but also for his impact in a dark world.
Most people don’t know the hundreds of unscheduled hours my husband has spent away from our family in order to protect and serve strangers of all ethnic and religious groups. Most people don’t know how many times my husband has shown grace and mercy to people he’s encountered because he knows, if not for the grace and mercy of Christ, he could be standing in their shoes. Most people don’t know the prayers my husband has prayed for men and women he’s met while on duty because their stories impact his soul. Most people don’t know about the times my husband has reached out to help those in need while off the clock simply because he felt the Lord calling him to do more.
The people who have made it their mission to “kill white officers” don’t know my husband. Part of me wishes they would come to know him, because I’m certain the Lord would use His light to shine grace, mercy, and love into their darkness.
The past week has been hard. The thought of my husband being hurt while in the line of duty used to not occupy my thoughts. I knew it was a reality, but I didn’t think about it all the time. This week, I’ve had to take my thoughts captive more than ever.
The silver lining is the outpouring of love, food, and encouragement from the nation. As a wife of a police officer, I beg you to not let this feeling pass as the news trucks retreat from the city and life gets back to normal. The officers’ commitment to your safety doesn’t turn off and on with the media attention. Their commitment to your safety doesn’t stop when the nice words and hugs turn back to harsh words and scowls. I challenge you to mark a few dates in your calendar for the next month, three months, six months, and year and commit on these dates to bless the police department in the same way so many of you are right now. And as you pray now and forever, please remember my husband.
Written by Meaghan Wall, Pastoral Leader of Special Needs Ministries