Together We Can
BY PASTOR TONY REA | APRIL 13, 2020
I Can! (series)
We’re about one month into the shelter-in-place or stay-at-home strategy to collectively defeat the spread of the coronavirus. To help get you through this challenging and unprecedented (most over-used and repeated word this month LOL) time, with a positive and faith-filled mindset, I have attempted to focus in on a “can-do” perspective.
Again Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I start my day, every day, by quoting that verse. I do that for two main reasons: (1) to establish a positive attitude—yes, I CAN!; and (2) to remind myself I CAN’T do it alone. I need help! And Jesus is the one I receive help from.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Last week we talked about a police officer’s worst nightmare, having to break radio silence with the dreaded DPD code 9000, officer in trouble or officer needs assistance. I mentioned to you, that on two different occasions during my police days, I had to dispatch that very code. And at the time when I included that information, I expected a few of my readers to inquire about the circumstances surrounding those two events. Well, you did not disappoint.
The first call for help was a domestic trouble situation gone terribly wrong. If you can believe it, a man with a gun tried to shoot me. I returned fire and ended up killing a refrigerator. I mentioned this story during a CCC sermon on humility and won’t bore you with the details by repeating the account again.
The second “officer in trouble” occurrence took place when on routine patrol, my partner and I became involved in a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle, a brand-new BMW, raced through residential streets near the south end of the 13th Precinct at speeds in excess of 80mph. After a rather short vehicular chase, the BMW pulled into the Brewster Housing Projects. Once inside the projects, the driver and passenger bailed out of the stolen car, and my partner and I gave chase on foot. I was able to apprehend the driver, and during the arrest attempt, a huge unruly crowd (approximately 50 people) began to gather. They were told to back away, when suddenly a man broke through the crowd and hit me in the face. When that happened others began to interfere and demand the release of the arrested man. The situation started to escalate in a hurry, and that’s when I put out the code 9000.
It took less than a minute for me to hear police sirens; so I knew help was on the way. While I waited for the reinforcements to arrive, I had one objective, watch my partner’s back and do everything I could to keep him safe. In an attempt to diffuse the situation and prevent the crowd from overreacting, I released the driver of the stolen vehicle even though that was the last thing I wanted to do. A few moments later, the boys in blue showed up and immediately went to work dispersing the crowd. In all the commotion, I lost sight of the stolen car driver, and he got away. However, I never took my eye off the guy who assaulted me. He was arrested, and the dangerous situation he initiated on the street that day was dealt with by me back at the police station (a different story for another time). What mattered most was my partner and I were safe.
Now, I take the time to recount that particular story because during a crisis, it’s very important to watch out for the people you love and to do the best you can to keep them safe. During the storms of life, sacrifices and concessions need to be made, and the most important decisions should be based on what’s best for others. Not too many people I know are overly enthusiastic about being on lockdown. Truth be told, I’m not fond of it at all. I like having the freedom to come and go as I please. I’m a social guy, and as you well know, I’m a hugger. And I occasionally like to stretch the rules a bit (ever so slightly.) So shelter in place is not my strong suit, it goes against the grain of personal enjoyment. But check it out, it’s keeping people safe, it’s saving lives, and it’s giving us an opportunity to serve and watch out for each other; especially family members, church members, and the people we love. So yes, we CAN continue to do this!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
Love & prayers,