8 of 31 Days: It Was Me
Have you ever felt your spouse’s tears roll across your shoulder?
Over the last few weeks Leah and I had engaged in what we like to call, “spirited fellowship”. While I’m fairly easy-going by nature, I still have that man-mind tendency to flare up the feathers when I feel disrespected or threatened.
Leah had done neither, but I sensed something being wound up tight inside my spirit. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but it felt old and it felt familiar. She’d asked what was bugging me, and knew it had affected my behavior.
Considering The Past
I started to think about it, and then prayed over it. I think I already knew, but didn’t want to admit it. You see, I take great pride in having worked at a high level of risk throughout my law enforcement career.
I don’t take lightly the 12 years of undercover and the 16 years of SWAT, before finishing up as a chief of police. Despite the chest-thumping adventures and harrowing tales that I keep to myself, the truths of human tragedy do come with a heavy price. That price is called memory, and it stinks.
But, I also know the toll it’s taken on me. I’ve struggled for decades and just like most men, considered suffering a noble badge of honor as the price we paid to protect the public.
It’s taken lots of intense help getting through some of the pitch black places. But over the last few weeks as I’ve wrapped up my latest book about the costs and effects of policing, the past was dredged up with every story recounted.
I’d considered not finishing Broken and Blue, and returning to writing fiction mysteries and less intense course development. But God was clear when He wanted me to start the project, and was very clear that I see it through.
Not Counting Costs
I understand that to help others, we may have to pay a price. I also understand that in our willingness to make ourselves vulnerable for the sake of helping, that we too are helped in deepening our faith. Through that faith, there is healing for what it is that hurt us.
This morning as we prayed, I really tried to talk around everything except the way I’d been acting toward her. Finally, God said to get to the heart of it. It was then that I felt gentle, warm drops against my shoulder.
I’d touched her heart with my apology, and also pierced her spirit over fears she had that the past was too present. She knows the sleepless nights, the hypervigilance, and the way past pain manifest itself as aches through my body. It had quieted for a few years, and only intensified as I pushed back into the past.
Her tears signaled that it was okay to admit the weakness. What I didn’t realize was that those weren’t her tears. They were mine.