On a confidence course, in a race, even in a foot pursuit we can reach a time when it seems hard to catch our breath. Life too is a race. Not of sprints . . . not for one’s glory . . . but one of perseverance. And perseverance is built upon suffering. We are suffering, now. We have been for some time. Orlando, our city and home, once again shares in the suffering that has been felt in the law enforcement community around the country. Never a stranger to this suffering – these times can feel like persecution. We love and remember our Brother and Sister as they are – one of us, who held the line, who dared to love at all costs. They represent the best of us.
Somewhere out there will be this dull response of ‘now you know what it feels like’. We have always known our fate. We are easily recognizable. We stand in a uniform adorned in a shield on our left breast. Just like all those who came before us. There is a price that can be only paid by a Guardian. Those “others” have been weighed, measured, and found wanting. “They”, however, are highly unrecognizable to the rest of society. “Their” lack of character, integrity, honor, and valor lay “them” bare like a shadow found in empty room, cast by the last light of the day falling away from “them” without any concern or thought.
Our thoughts, however, are bent on you. “You” the small criminal element preying on our citizens. You will always lose, because you lack conviction. There will never be rest. There is only the reckoning. Your safety falls directly into your own hands. Face arrest or face the will of the remaining society.
So where is the focus? Do we focus on persecution? It should not be denied. Denial serves those who wish us to suffer, those who think there is no suffering, and those who do not bend their thoughts to us in any meaningful way.
Persecution is the spark! James wrote that we should rejoice in our sufferings. So never forget: do not deny the loss and pain, but our eyes and resolve moves on. Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance builds character, and with character there is hope. Hope does not fail. Hope in the love we have for each other and our communities. Hope does not fail. Hope in what awaits those who serve and sacrifice. Hope does not fail. Hope in what was given for us. Hope does not fail.
Let your focus be on the Hope you have and the Hope you provide others!