At first, there were only two. I watched them suit up, helping each other into their gear. They got into their car and waited. Soon, a man walked up to their car and handed them something through the window. They talked briefly and he returned to his seat in Starbucks. Soon, two more similarly suited people parked their vehicles, got out and walked to the first car. Then two more and still others, till there were nine altogether.
The customer inside watched all this for a few minutes before getting out of his chair. He walked over to the counter, ordered several gift cards and took them out to the officers who were meeting prior to what appeared to be a significant and serious day's work. All were wearing their body armor, and sporting clipboards as they talked together. He handed each officer a card; they again talked briefly, shook hands all around, and the gentleman returned quietly to his seat and his coffee.
I am grateful for these men and women who day after day get into their vehicles to patrol the roads and often enter places where they are usually not wanted and where they never know what is on the other side of the door. And for the gentleman who understood and appreciated their service, and demonstrated it with a token of appreciation. In the past fifteen days, there have been seven shootings in Jamestown, something that we only think of as happening in big cities. Watching these officers as they planned their day's work, I said a prayer that they would all go home safely to their families tonight, and thanked God for their service not only to our community, but to God himself. St. Paul tells us that those entrusted with civic authority are ministers of God (Romans 13:1-4). In serving us, they are serving him. Thank you, Lord, for these who serve today. May they do their work honorably and well, and may they rest in quiet safety tonight.