Why Hero Status Can Be a Heavy Crown
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Elijah Shoesmith

Christ follower, husband, and content writer seeking to enrich our world through messaging and other online means. Proudly keeping my advertising dollars away from Big Tech, and reinvesting them in free speech platforms. #ParallelEconomy

Elijahwordsmith.com | Why Hero Status Can Be a Heavy Crown

Hurtling through the air, the projectile struck the officer in the head, buckling his knees. 

As his comrades formed a human shield between him and danger, he managed a weak smile at the sight behind him.  Steadying himself on his partner, he was led back through the throng of peaceful protestors waving patriotic flags.

He was bombarded with, “God bless you!”  “Lord heal him!”  “Thank you!”

It wasn’t until later, lying in the hospital bed, that the profound impact of those encouraging words from the crowd truly hit him.

And just like that, the 12-year veteran of the force began to cry.

No, this isn’t some distant, war-torn nation.  It’s America in 2020.

Hero Definition 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hero is defined as “one who shows great courage” or “an illustrious warrior.”  I personally see them as someone who runs towards danger while most of the citizenry runs away. 

In hindsight, this past year saw an elevation of everyday Americans who stepped up to the call.  But this is in no place more evident than with the superheroes in blue.

They are:

  • Underpaid
  • Underappreciated
  • Mocked
  • Threatened
  • Vilified

And the list goes on…

But in their eyes, these facts don’t free them up to shirk their responsibility to “serve and protect.”  As in any profession, there are a few bad apples, but many of them are uniquely endued by our Creator to a career of selfless sacrifice.

When someone is in danger, they don’t call the Ghostbusters, they dial 911.  What would happen if they got a busy signal or the voice on the other end said, “Please leave a message and someone will get back to you within 24 hours?”

The answer should be common sense, but sadly that has become uncommon itself.  There must be more that God wants for us, so why do we struggle to see it as a nation?

Hero of the Storm

Although full statistics for 2020 aren’t yet available, as of July there had been 32 officers who were shot and killed by criminals.  According to the FBI, this marked a 28% increase over the same period in 2019.

Please note that this number doesn’t include fatalities from other types of weapons.  One life lost is one too many, so it’s important to study why there was a marked increase.  

Experts say that “anti-police sentiment emboldens offenders.”  From the halls of Congress, all the way down to the local level, we saw a massive push to “defund the police.”

This rhetoric does two things:

  1. Emboldens those who would do harm to the protectors of our cities
  2. Discourages the protectors themselves 

For example, citing a lack of support, 503 law enforcement officers retired from the NYPD over the span of 40 days!

We also saw unprecedented rioting, looting, and violence orchestrated by BLM and Antifa on the heels of the unfortunate death of George Floyd.  In the first few weeks of the violent summer protests alone, more than 2,000 officers were injured. 

What does Jesus call us to do when we feel anger, does He say pick up a brick and toss it so you feel better? 

His example and the Word say:

“…for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” – James 1:20   

And if we feel slighted or experience injustice He says:

“Vengeance is mine” – Deuteronomy 32:35

Hero’s Journey

Whether it’s a book or a motion picture, the main characters are often larger than life and seem to be above normal human concerns.  Heroes in movies even have superpowers that can make them invincible and envied by all. 

But in real life, these men and women experience more of the ups and downs that we all go through.  We have members of law enforcement that attend our church, and surely only God fully understands the emotions they deal with daily.

On November 14th, my wife and I attended a rally supporting election integrity, which was filled with God-fearing patriots of every nationality.  It took place in Sacramento and was a beautiful outpouring of love for our country. 

Decked out in red, white, and blue, we walked past the Capitol building to link up with other attendees.  I noticed two things right away.

  1. A huge police presence
  2. Antifa was the reason they were there, not us

Whereas police could safely walk through our ranks, heading to our rear required riot gear and a steely resolve.  We made a point to thank every officer we saw and offer a “God bless you.” 

It’s one thing to see it on social media, but seeing an injured officer being supported and led away by a fellow public servant overwhelmed me emotionally.  Viewing this I thought, “here was a real-life picture of Jesus.”

They were putting themselves in harm’s way willingly.  So we could exercise our first amendment right as free people, descended from those who fought against tyranny almost 250 years ago. 

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Final Thoughts on Heroes

I know you aren’t supposed to hug police officers when they’re on duty, but I came pretty darn close when I saw them in action.  And when I was confronted with evil I’d only read about, I was reminded of how “essential” they are to true safety and order for our citizens. 

Some ideas on how to encourage them this week:

  • Pay for their coffee or food
  • Give them a thumbs up from your car
  • Pray for them
  • Thank them for their service
  • Invite them to church

These “sheepdogs” protect us physically from wolves, so it’s time for us “spiritual sheepdogs” to protect them through prayer. 

Especially as men of God, we understand that God has made us strong to protect our wives and children.  He has given angels charge concerning us, but also uses uniformed heroes to assist in that effort.

I for one am extremely thankful for these folks and will continue to support them in every way possible.  God bless them!

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