I was studying people who cause mass murder and the people who stop it. That study is unpleasant but necessary. Sometimes I find it revolting. I can’t study it for hours each day. I’m glad I have a choice to set it aside. I can step away from evil and see the amazing joys in life. Not everyone is so lucky. Here is my gratitude to those who face evil every day.
I know a man who examines heartless sociopaths and psychopaths. That is his chosen profession so he has to do it on demand. My friend has to interview a suspect when the police or prosecutors need him evaluated. That is a sharp contrast from what I do and what many of us do. I can study evil when I feel like it. Some of us never look at evil at all.
I appreciate the few among us who look evil straight in the eye as part of their job. I’ve made friends with several law enforcement officers. They meet every type of person every day. They meet great people whose car got stuck. They meet crazy people who are off their meds. Cops and deputies also meet the worst people in our society. These law enforcement officers get paid to do that.. call after call. They walk up to evil-and-violent men and women so my family doesn’t have to.
These good men and women have a relationship with evil and violence that is unusual in our society. They can not look away. They must prevail in every encounter. They use violence as a tool, though certainly not their only tool. In contrast, some of us can go through our entire lives and never be forced to use violence.
Living without violence is a luxury we can’t always afford. These law enforcement officers tell me that one of the hardest things about their job is to arrive too late. They usually get a call for help after the damage is already done. The innocent victim is already injured.
These cops and deputies would love for us to stay safe until they get there. They are coming as fast as they can. They want to find us safely hiding behind a locked door where we are protecting the people we love. They want to find us while we are still out of reach of the bad guys. That is a good day for a law enforcement officer.
That is my wish for you too. Today is Christmas Eve. [Editor’s note: Original publication date was Dec 24] We celebrate the birth of Jesus. We humbly celebrate that a saviour was born who would die to save us. That is an inspiring message. We are called upon to be good. We are supposed to face evil without becoming an evil person. Many people do that in visible and difficult ways. It is our duty to protect the people we love until help arrives..and to thank the people who help us.
These good men and women remind me of my many blessings. You are one of my blessings. Thank you for all you do. You are not alone. Stay safe in body and spirit until help arrives.