Gospel recording artist Bebe Winans performed a song after the September 11 attack that has become the unofficial anthem for first responders who lost their brothers and sisters while trying to save others. The song was entitled “In Harm’s Way.” The lyrics of the song makes us think about what I am sure the average person wonders about those of us who go into burning buildings, go into dark alleys, walk up to unknown traffic stops, and handle domestics.
The song goes, “In wanting to save me, In order to save the day, because of love you place yourself in harm’s way.” There is no greater love than when we, those of us who have been called, go out into our communities, campuses or highways to protect God’s people. I am proud to be one of the 900,000 officers in this country who put on a uniform and protect citizens.
This type of work has never been easy. The proof, unfortunately, are the names of fallen officers at the National Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. There are 166 fallen officers who perished in 2011. As of the moment I write this, 36 more have died during 2012. I pray it doesn’t get any higher.
This isn’t about numbers; it’s more about these brothers/ sisters/aunts/uncles/moms, and dads and, in some cases, grandparents who loved their fellow man so much that they paid the ultimate price. As we celebrate, yes celebrate those who went home to be with the Lord, we must remember that their deaths should not be a sad event. No, folks, this is the time when those of us still here should look to the names on the wall and remember that while here on earth we lost them, but in heaven they’re gained for God!
When Jesus died for our sins, he was going into harm’s way just like we do every day. He was facing a hostile crowd such as we do, but He did it to save us. I know in wanting to save me, in order to save the day, because of His love he placed himself in harm’s way so that I and other police officers can go out there to serve and protect His people. No, I will not write about the sadness of the ones we lost, for I know they are with Jesus in heaven.
As I and others like me patrol the streets here, instead I am going to celebrate the fallen officers by continuing to praise those of who went before me and to pray for those of us who are still in the fight! I always get charged up whenever I think of this song. When people run out of a school where there is someone shooting, we step in harm’s way. When there is a domestic and the spouse is ready to end it all but will take their love ones first, we have to stop them from taking an innocent life by stepping into harm’s way. Whenever a traffic stop is not “routine” (I hate that term) we step into harm’s way.
These fallen officers deserve more than what this reserve officer can ever give them, so the best that I can do to honor them is to remember that Jesus has put us, whether we are full timers, reserve, SWAT, campus police, tribal, county, city state or federal in this anointed time to save those who can’t protect themselves.
The next time you feel that this calling has lost its luster, that no one cares or that you figure what is the point of doing the job anymore, pause for a moment. Remember that Jesus died on the cross for us. We do have a purpose. We owe it to the ones who have paid the ultimate price by doing their jobs to carry on. I encourage you to listen to the song via the link below. I believe it will inspire you. Whenever I feel like the job is not worth it anymore, I remember what Jesus has done for me.
In wanting to save me
In order to save the day
Because of love
He placed himself in harm’s way.
Please honor and celebrate those who went before us and pray for each other as we go out for, what in some cases, may be for the last time. God Bless!
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Bebe Winans “In Harm’s Way”