It was dark when I went out to fetch the mail last night. I thumbed through the mail as I walked, straining to see by the dimly lit houses.
One envelope caught my eye.
It was a small card, made out to my author name, no return address.
The postmark was from St. Louis, Missouri.
My first thought was to wonder if this was my first hate mail. Seriously…
I quickly opened it to find a thank you card. For my support. Said it was greatly appreciated.
The name that followed caught my breath.
A name I wouldn’t have recognized before this summer.
A name that is hated among some. A name defended by others.
A name I have thought of every day since August, and have said prayers on his behalf.
He said my support is greatly appreciated.
And my answer to that is the feeling is mutual.
Because frankly, it isn’t about him anymore. It’s about us. The Thin Blue Line.
He’s the mascot. The martyr. The maligned.
I have wondered how he’s been getting through this. I’ve wondered about his wife. I’ve wondered if he’s afraid, or embarrassed, or hurt.
And right here, in my hand, I realize how he’s surviving.
In spite of the madness, he’s thankful.
And so should we.
He’s choosing to send a word to those who’ve supported him.
So should we.
He’s choosing to look at what he can control, not what he can’t.
A lesson we can take and follow.
We need to be encouraged by those from all walks of life that do appreciate peace officers.
We need to encourage each other, too.
Slowly but surely, I’m hearing civilians ask, “Do these people really want to take away the powers of the police? Do they understand what will happen if the police don’t respond to their neighborhoods? I sure don’t want that.”
They know that peace just doesn’t produce naturally.
They acknowledge their need for peace officers. They’re thankful, too.
There are people who are listening to the facts and deciding that this is madness. There are those who are seeing the violence on TV and tire of the temper tantrums, especially when the evidence in this case doesn’t support the claim.
We’ve got to walk through this, my friends. It hurts, but there’s no way around it.
Our emotions are high, our fears are valid, and our security shaken.
We need each other now more than ever.