Of late, life has felt overwhelming. There never seems to be enough time or energy to accomplish all I want, and there is never enough money to help those I want to help. The busier I get, the more I know a difference is being made, but it can be overwhelming.
You see, I am a Law Enforcement Chaplain. Yes, I have theological training and am credentialed by a religious entity to perform the rites and rituals. But, I don’t try to convert anyone or preach to anyone to become part of my way of belief. My job is to take my training and experience (lifetime of making mistakes) to listen to Officers and their families and offer counsel (if requested). It’s a lot more difficult to listen and NOT speak than one might think.
When I first began this life adventure, I didn’t think I could possibly make a difference. The best I could do was offer encouragement and perhaps a little different perspective. Then one night after spending an entire 12 hour shift with one of the Officers, I was walking to my car and heard the cruiser back up and get ready to pull away. But then I heard the cruiser stop for several seconds. I turned to wave to the officer, and the officer rolled down the window, grabbed my hand and said, “Thanks for listening Padre.” And with that, the officer drove off home, leaving me standing in the dark parking lot next to my car.
When I got into my car, I sat there for a minute and just looked at the sky watching the stars flicker. Then an image came to mind that I hadn’t considered: One can only see the stars when it’s dark. Hmmmmm…. The more I thought about it, the more I kept remembering some of the lessons I had learned over the course of my life. A single candle doesn’t produce much light, but in the darkest place where there is no light, it’s almost blinding.
From that day, I have remembered that even though I may not understand or even see how my light may help someone else, in their darkest moments, hopefully they will remember.
Watch this video and see what I mean: