Thousands will descend on Washington D.C. over the next several days from all states and numerous countries to honor the fallen heroes who have died doing what they were called to do...serve.
My heart is heavy as my husband and I would typically be there this week, but God has a way of altering our course. Yet, I am there in spirit as I lift up prayers for those recently widowed, little ones who no longer have a daddy or a mommy to comfort them, and moms and dads who look as if the wind has been knocked out their bodies. They each come to remember, to honor, to never forget...as if they could.
I personally know a number of the wives who will be escorted about in the dreaded chartered buses. Their week will be filled with activities, conferences, and pomp and circumstance.
They will go through the motions and relive the emotions. Instead of a strong arm to hold, they will hold a single rose and a candle. Tears will flow.
For the officers that attend, reality will set in. This could be them in an instant. They will gaze at the names of their fallen brethren engraved on the cold, stone walls and leave mementos to honor those deceased. A crude scratch of a name on paper will be all they have to help repair the hole in their hearts.
There will also be the wives of those who come. They stand silently in their own horror of thoughts as they wonder what it's like to be on the other side...in the white chairs. They, too, hold their candle in honor but silently pray they never stand alone in remembrance of the one they love.
There will be a time set aside for a politician or two to recite a myriad of scripted words....words they have no understanding of, as they have never faced fear or pain or the ugliness of this world the way an officer has. Yet, those who serve will be humble enough to listen.
On the outskirts of the city, far from the sacredness of the memorial, a place of sorrow and pain will become a haven for those with deep wounds and hurts inside. Tent city, though lined with vendors and other types of police-related paraphernalia, will also house a temporary fix to an age-old problem.
Alcohol will create an atmosphere of euphoria, though only for a time. After the week of events has closed and all return back to their places of service, the hidden pains will again surface and in some cases, become an overwhelming hopelessness.
Yet...in all the sadness and despair intertwined with the honor and gratitude, glimmers of hope pierce through amongst the darkest of remembrances.
God's soldiers come prayed up, armored up and ready to do battle with the demons of darkness. Men and women who love and appreciate our brothers and sisters in blue, but love our Lord even more, come obediently to this place to pray for the hurting, reach out to the downcast, and bring an encouraging word to the burdened.
So, as you and I go about our daily duties this week, let's be mindful of those who daily protect and keep the peace, never knowing if it will be their last assignment on this earth.
Pray for those who hold the single rose...the men and women and children who have lost more than anyone can fathom.
And finally, please lift up people dear to my heart who are going out this week to be the light of Christ in a hurting world. Jesus is truly the only hope we have and our men and women in blue need Him more now than ever.
My light is on for you all. Stay strong, and thank you for your service!