12 November 2015

The Police Officers

Originally Posted On September 5, 2015  
Sometimes I greatly disappoint myself. 

After Mass this evening, my husband and I stopped at a gas station to fill our tank before heading home. As we pulled in, I saw them: two police officers with their cruisers. They were filling their tanks, one in front of the other. Immediately, I thought of him, Darren Goforth, the Texas Deputy Sheriff, shot and killed execution style while filling the tank of his own vehicle.

As my husband pumped the gas, I stood and watched the officers. I thought about the danger they face every day—just by wearing the uniform. I stood and watched them until they finished filling their tanks. I wanted to go up to them and say something, but I didn’t know what to say. So I just watched them.

Finally, they both finished. I watched as the first officer drove away. He drove past me, window shut, his head facing front. I could only see his profile.

The second officer took the same route, driving right by where I was standing. He drove slower, had the window down, and looked straight at me. He slowed, almost to a stop. I don’t know why. Maybe there was another car in his path. I don’t know because I was looking directly at his face. I would have had time to walk up and motion to him. I almost did that very thing. I wanted to say, “God bless you, and be safe.” But I didn’t. I was too shy, I guess. But I looked at him and smiled. He smiled back, and for a brief moment, we made eye contact.

When I got home, I was greatly disappointed with myself. I thought about it and wondered, why was I too shy to say what was in my heart? And I remembered his smile. Then a quote came to my mind. And that quote is by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. And that quote says, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” So even though I was too timid to say the words, I hope the officer understood what I was saying through my smile.

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