One of the more common questions I’m asked is how do I blend my two worlds into one. The question is generally posed as if there really did exist a separation between the spiritual and the secular; as if I could be one person at work and another at home and church.
It became one of my constant goals to be congruent— to have my words and actions agree with my testimony. This brings to mind a day that I failed.
On a crisp Saturday morning the shift progressed as usual. I was working in the medical ward. In this ward there was a particular block where those inmates with contagious diseases were housed separate from other sick inmates. On this particular day there was one inmate, who being rather obstinate, provoked me to wrath. [Smile] In police-talk we call this heinous crime Contempt of Cop, and in most jurisdictions, it is considered a serious felony.
Well, after being repeatedly disrespected, disobeyed, and challenged—yes, I lost my temper. I stalked out of the control booth and stormed up to the inmate’s cell and snatched open the door. At this point I challenged the man to the fight he had been begging me for all morning. But, like with most inmates, once the door opened, his glass-courage evaporated. Glass-courage is that courage an inmate has when he is locked safe behind the cell door glass.
When I walked into his cell and stood over him, I could see the fear in his eyes and only then—once the eyes of all the other inmates and the nursing staff and the other deputy—did I mention I had been telling this deputy about the love of Jesus? Back to the story. I finally heard my partner calling me over the intercom and reminding me that this inmate was not worth my job.
Then the truth of the matter settled over me. I had put my testimony on the line. It seemed the Lord was always using the situations of my day to teach me about Him and about myself….Just saying.