Be Still

The world is churning chaos. Especially for me. I am a police wife. I feel the virulent hatred all the more knowing my husband confronts it daily. I feel the divisiveness of our country as if my own heart was ripped right in half.  The media bias, the negativity, the accusations, the internet vigilantes– all jabs in the rib of the law enforcement family.

And softly God whispers to my heart, “Be still.”

I am so stubborn; my heart so unquiet– so it may take awhile to set in. I want to fight, lash out, cry out, kick something. Because I know my husband isn’t like what people make police officers out to be. Because my husband is kind and honest and brave. He signed up to protect others. He signed up because he is strong and selfless. There have been times in the last year when I asked him if there was anything else in the world he could do, but he won’t relent because, despite the disparaging picture the news sometimes paints, he knows people need him. And we do.

We need good officers to rescue us from the grip of addictions, to gently talk us out of taking our own life. We need them to protect us from dangerous situations and from dangerous people. Sometimes their job is rough and they have to be rough to protect what is good. I respect officers for that so, so much because I know I could not do it. I can live a comfortable life knowing that men and women like him will sacrifice their time and sometimes themselves to protect someone, anyone like me. I am thankful someone is willing to go out and push back the darkness on my behalf.

However, I will try not to be angry at people who feel anger because they have a right to free speech as I do. I will try to forgive those who stir controversy because their own hearts are ablaze.  As I urge others to think outside of stigmatized boxes and either/or mentalities, I will try to do the same. We are all so different but all so the same. When the puzzle pieces of humanity don’t fit together the way my perception sees fit, maybe I need to change the way I’m assembling that puzzle. To do so, I will need humility, kindness, compassion, and love: qualities that are easy to say we possess but so, so difficult to embody every moment of every day.

In the mean time I will pray.

A prayer I’ve offered before– for all law enforcement families who may be feeling as I do sometimes: blog one

“Dear God, thank You. Thank You for the mornings when I hear the door unlock, the boots on hardwood, and the Velcro vest undone. Thank You that, despite the brokenness he sees, he comes home whole. Thank You for the purpose he has found in protecting and helping others. Thank You for protecting him and his colleagues for yet another shift, and thank You for a community that supports him– a silent majority who appreciates instead of scorns. Amen.”

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day” (Psalm 91).

2 thoughts on “Be Still

  1. A Private Response to the Be Still Post

    Because you are my friend, I feel I must respond to your blog post. Not to create controversy or further distance our friendship but hopefully to bring understanding to the pain you endure. As with you, Anne the world is churning for me. I am the wife of an African American man, though recent events are nothing new, they constantly portray the terrible world in which we live. A world in which, different standards created for those with white skin, and those with black or brown skin. As with you, God whispers something different to my heart, “Do not fear.” Frankly, I do fear, every time my husband walks out of the house. Questions fill my mind: Will he be pulled over? Will he follow orders and do as they say? Will I ever get a fateful call? Though my husband is a good citizen and wonderful man, these are still the questions I must fear.

    I believe in our police force. There are good officers, and your husband is one of them. Our country needs police officers “to rescue us from the grip of addictions, to gently talk us out of taking our own life.” As with you, I know I could not do their job. Like you, “I live a comfortable life knowing that men and women like your husband will sacrifice their time and sometimes themselves to protect someone”, anyone with white skin. Unfortunately, after being married to an African American man for almost six years I know from experience many police officers will not protect my husband. I have witnessed it, seen the brutality with my own eyes, white police officers treating my husband, my young African American students and my African American friends differently than they treat me. When protests such as those encouraged by the Black Lives Matter Movement receive publicity, “I am thankful someone is willing to go out and push back the darkness” in order for my stepson and future children to live in a safer world.

    “However, I will try not to be angry” with police officers. They are just doing their job, I assure myself. My husband reminds me to forgive and that ignorance contributes to the brutality. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how someone who is treated as a second-class citizen on an everyday basis can have such a forgiving heart. I am writing this response to you “with hope that you will think outside of stigmatized boxes and either/or mentalities” about African Americans.
    In addition, I will educate white Americans on a very real pervasive and popular thought process-white privilege. I will proudly stand up the middle of AP training and beg my fellow white teachers to consider the African American point of view on such events as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. I will conduct Professional Developments for the entire faculties at my high school on how celebrate Black History Month. I will meet with and seek to change the very white curriculum taught in my public schools, to include the studying of African American authors, learning about important African Americans in history and studying African American culture in order for my African American students to feel valued in the classroom.

    I beg you please blame ignorance and a sinful world for the events unfolding on media. Seek information about African Americans in history; none of this is new information.

    In the meantime, I will pray for change. I will pray for the same world Martin Luther King Jr. hoped his children would live in, one where they are not judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character.

  2. Thank you for your eloquent response. I am so sorry for what your family and what your students have gone through. I agree that the actions of some officers are uncalled for and the effects of systemic racism are frankly appalling. I agree that these actions should be protested, and peacefully, as you stated. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my personal role models and I read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” every year on MLK Day.
    While I believe we are all entitled to our perceptions, opinions, and free speech, I think you may have misread the intent of my post, or you assumed I was implying or even stating something that I was not. The point of my post was concern of the welfare for my husband an colleagues in an increasingly turbulent world due to a myriad of causes, not just in the cases you mention. I think this message is something we both agree on, and we both desire the same thing for the ones we love: respect, equality, and safety. ❤ That said, I am so glad you reached out and brought these issues to the forefront of my mind today. I pray that through education and kindness our world can be changed every day for the better.

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