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Friday, February 17, 2012

Out of the Two comes One - Part Nine

I guess the only struggle—the one worth actually fighting about is the one we most often overlook: the human struggle. I saw it first while growing up in the dusty red dirt streets of my Selma, Alabama hometown, but failed to recognize it as such. I saw it again when I joined the U.S. Marines, but thought it was just boys being boys. Then in becoming a peace officer, I saw this struggle in a whole new light.

On becoming a police officer, if you will remember my mentioning in an earlier post, one of the first things you experience is the heavy badge. You get this belief that you’re great—that you’re awesome. Not unlike the young Marine who believes he can take on the entire U.S. Army and Navy alone, with one arm tied behind his back just to make the fight fair. Well in transitioning into that world of good guys verses bad guys, cops verses robbers, I saw this human struggle again. This time in the faces of the wives, husbands, children, mothers and fathers who were left to try to put life into some form of normal once their loved one had decided to cross that line.

I watched as young brides kissed dirty glass windows, because the lips of the person they loved were on the other side. Women exposing themselves to hands that would never caress them, and children crying for a daddy they might never know. This was the same struggle seen in the faces of the empty-eyed deputies who slept in the bunkroom because he or she could not face going home to the person they vowed to love forever. Or hearing the latest gossip of two married officers caught having sex in the parking lot just outside the HQ.

This…is the human struggle.

My point—it wasn't until truly seeing “people” in the light, or rather the darkness of their fallen condition, consumed and blinded by sin and its effects, was I really able to see myself in the proper light. For after all, I too am human and have my part in the human struggle. Think about it….Just saying.

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