For as long as I have been working in law enforcement, I have worked on the holidays. I have come to expect it, my family has come to expect it. But, something changed this year when I was told I had been “ordered” to work Christmans and New Year’s. I think that it took some of the pride of service away when someone thought it was necessary to order my unit to work, even though we know we are considered essential employees and have to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I had to think to myself “after all this time, was our service taken for granted?” When we (in the global sense) have to patrol on Christmas Day, sit in the fire house waiting for calls, or sit in a booth at a factory what are we really doing it for? Those of us in the military or public safety sectors sacrifice so much all of the time, have we really gotten smothered with employer obligations? Most of us are proud to lay down our lives for others; but when that personal sacrifice is glossed over like it’s the equivilent of delivering pizzas, when do we need to re-evaluate our priorities and use that vacation time we have been saving for our families? When we are always available for overtime shifts but somehow no one else is, or when we are constantly early for our shifts, but we get relieved late all the time, when do we need to “enlighten” others that we are not to be taken for granted? We don’t stop serving our communities, but we do need to stop enabling those who benefit from the sweat of our brows and pain in our backbones. Everyone should pull their own weight and it is our responsibility to remind them of that. If you haven’t noticed, this is directed to those that work right by our side and, are oftentimes, our own worst enemies.
A Chaplain’s Assistant (front) and a Chaplain (rear) prepare for deployment to a combat zone. This displays the essence of our support. Notice the Chaplain is not carrying a bible, nor a weapon. But his mere presence commands an atmosphere of comfort, confidence and support. We are here as guides, not to push you into any certain direction, but to extend an arm of stability ready to grab hold of you when you feel you are at your weakest. If you or someone you know, needs some non-judgmental support and guidance, please reach out to us.
When I got off work today, I made a little trip to the grocery store. As I was walking down the aisles making my usual “in and out” dash, I noticed a slight haze in the air around me. Time seemed to slow down, and I took careful notice of the faces around me. To my right, was the young 18 year old girl that we had just processed that was involved in a fatal accident the day before. Her jaw was still twisted and open, and her eyes, slightly shut with that last look of surprise on her face. Behind me was the three year old rear passenger of another fatal accident, where the members of both vehicles were killed. The girl was ejected and killed immediately, all because the other driver was drunk and trying to get to a Ravens football game. To my left, was the young lady who was shot to death when she got into an argument with the boyfriend of her ex. She still had the holes in her head. It took all of my power to shake those images off, to just get them out of my head. But they haunted me. It was then that I realized that we waste far too much time on the things that don’t matter. If we just took time to slow down, to not keep up with the latest FB post, to not worry about partying every night, to just appreciate….life. Not just our own, but others. If we could just slow down….maybe more of us would wake up.
The blog had its first few likes in the past couple of days we have been active, and I’m thankful for the encouragement. In the process of responding, I came across a great page that discussed blogging in a summary (Thanks, Christian Mihai!). So, I decided to take advantage of the advice and engage the readers. What is this blog really about? You can read the about page, but that’s really about a mission, a purpose. This blog is really about YOU. I have to emphasize, its not really about religion, but clarity on issues that cloud all of our minds. I know when I was in school, we were encouraged to ask questions because “someone else is always asking the same thing in their head”. Well, this forum is an opportunity to raise your hand and be heard. The solution to your problems, or even just the discussion could help “heal” thousands! Feel free to post comments/suggestions/questions in any of the sections.
For ease of use, I have added separate pages and categories designated to address different issues: social, professional, family and spiritual. There is also a general information page. For now, this should be sufficient to begin discussions on, at least, these issues. Spread the word!
It is important to know that this blog is for others to post their concerns, questions, requests for information, and any other issues that are relating to personal and/or spiritual struggles. This is not about “religion” but rather how we deal with the problems and issues we face every day. There are those of us that monitor this blog that serve as Chaplains in various areas: military, fire, police, medical, etc. As such, we deal as an Interfaith entity and are not concerned with religion as much as we are spiritual issues. That being said, each of us stands by our own faith with conviction, but we are available to those in need. When a soldier that is dying is seeking answers, we don’t ask first what their belief is. So, we encourage you to post your thought-provoking questions in hopes that we can be of assistance to each of you. It’s kind of like school: do you get more out of a class where the instructor lectures, or where you get to participate and drive the discussion?