The Thin Blue Line; Awesome Courage
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:1-4
I hoped to have a different direction for my second devotional but this week took an unexpected turn that my heart cannot ignore. On Friday, January 5th governing authorities…men and women alike who have been chosen, equipped and instituted by God in all manner of Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting and Special Services gathered literally by the thousands not only from Colorado but from all over the nation to pay tribute to their fallen brother, Deputy Zackari Parrish.
By now you have heard about this young police officer. At the age of 29 he was slain in an ambush, his life taken in the quiet community of Highlands Ranch, Colorado while serving and protecting his fellow officers, surrounding apartment community where the incident was occurring, and the man…who took his life. He was lured into a set-up and yet tried with everything he had to calm the situation.
Deputy Parrish modeled the very essence of The Thin Blue Line…the line that stands between chaos and order. He leaves behind a faith-filled, beautiful, gracious, young wife and two very young daughters. Pray for them!
Order over chaos…I’d prayed for God to use me, to keep my mind focused and alert, to be aware and most of all, to not fear. Still my heart raced as we the funeral volunteers stood solemnly receiving instructions at 8AM this past Friday. Managing the expected numbers coming to pay their respects was a daunting challenge.
From my eyes; a hundred or so dignified, governing authorities, church staff and volunteers were present early in the morning and long before the service was to begin. My role-gatekeeper for “LEO” otherwise known as Law Enforcement Officers coming from all over the state and nation into our church Worship Center. All 62 years of this frame was entrusted as a member of the team vetting the uniformed, plain-clothed and accompanying dignitaries. Offering a welcome to God’s servants-a humbling honor. Having a sniper within eye-shot of my post to “carry out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer”-a bit unsettling.
I struggle to serve Paul’s words and the visual with enough acuity…thousands quietly entered the Sanctuary where their brother in blue would be honored. There were many moments when one could have literally heard the proverbial pin drop to the ground. Words for all of our men and women in blue...dignified, solemn, brotherhood, community, respect, love. These are the governing authorities, the servants and the avengers who have answered the call to serve The Lord with awesome courage! They are The Thin Blue Line who stand between chaos and order for me and for you.
Almighty Father, We praise You and are thankful that Deputy Zackari Parrish served and protected our community. His ‘watch’ has been cleared and another will fill the gap but Lord we know that Your Watch is for eternity. Your Eyes are on us at all times. Praise You Lord and thank you for each First Responder you have called to duty. Amen