WAIT! STOP!!! Please, please I beg you … Put the gun down or take me instead! He has the sweetest family. They absolutely adore him and look up to him as their HERO. They’re actually waiting for him to come home right now. Please, I beg you. I know your adrenaline is pumping, but I beg you to have mercy. He’s just doing his job, and honestly he’s exhausted from work and just wants to go home—a place where there is peace from the streets. Please don’t take that away from him. He has a wife who’s been up all night waiting for him to get home as she prays for his safety. She has no clue that his life can end at any moment due to the hatred in your heart. You could pull the trigger, making her a widow.

Look, I don’t know what you did to put you in this position, but I need you to know it doesn’t have to go like this, the whole “it’s my life or yours” proposition. Put the gun down and know that he’s yelling at you and warning before he shoots. He has to do his job and go home to his family as well. He’s not a murderer wanting to take you away from your family like you so easily would to him. Ok, ok, I know you’re probably wondering, who am I to speak to you in the middle of this intense situation, right? Well allow me to introduce myself.

I am a God-fearing woman and a law enforcement officer’s wife who prays relentlessly over him. I wake up at all hours of the night to prepare food for him and make sure he has a clean, ironed uniform for his next shift. I trust him as an officer to uphold the law, and his judgment to do what it takes to come home to his family. I see him awake and head to work to protect you and your family hours before sunrise, and come home utterly exhausted hours after sunset. I run the house, seemingly as a single mom, making huge sacrifices for our family so that your life is safe. I have to muster courage to find a way to have age appropriate conversations with the kids about Daddy’s job, and how dangerous it’s becoming. I have to try and hold it together when we see another officer shot and killed in the line of duty. I see the fear in their eyes as I assure them that God has Daddy is His hands, and he will be a hero no matter what. THAT’S … WHO I AM!

*BANG BANG*

You did it … You, you killed him!

I can’t hear anything over the agony screaming in my heart. I felt like you shot and killed me as well. You took my best friend, lover, protector, and father of my children. How … how am I supposed to look them in the eyes and tell them a monster filled with hate killed their father? How am I supposed to wake up every morning in an empty bed and not hate you?

JESUS … that’s how.

He reminded me as a gentleman of His word, in Matthew 5:44, which says, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” 

 So that’s what I’ll do, when I want to hate you I’ll pray God has mercy on your soul. Although my husband’s life ended that day, it felt like mine did too. Jesus ever so gently brings me back to life and gives me courage to keep living. I will live to honor my officer. You may be a murderer … and though it’s hard for me to admit, Christ died for you just as much as He did me. May God be with you as I learn to forgive you.

– Mariah Zuniga