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Trouble on Both Sides of the Law.

Do not let your hearts be troubled! Trust in God; trust also in Me (Jesus). John 14:1

It was a frigid winter evening at my church’s warming station.

I stepped quickly into the heated room, shrugged off my coat. My eyes began their scanning, landed on a woman in her early thirties, looking kinda lost, unclean. Probably assumed no one really gave a rip about her circumstances. Like, really, really gave a rip.

God tapped my shoulder. “So, go give a rip.”

I sidled toward her, sat in a neighboring chair, introduced myself. And invited her to share her story. She was homeless, jobless. She’d made a wreck of her life, with little hope of turning it around. And family? As her choices darkened over the last several years, they’d fled the scene. Her resume included three months in jail due to previous felony conviction. I didn’t ask her crime.

Mercy, me. Such trouble on the wrong side of the law.

Following my volunteer shift, I drove home down icy roads, past snow-frosted rooftops, white-blanketed lawns, thinking of the woman. “If only she’d…”

My thoughts were interrupted with a text message from a law enforcement officer and dear friend.

Could use prayers. You game?

As it is unwise to leave a cop waiting, I responded rapidly. Absolutely. Best weapon 🙂

I phoned her. She shared her personal dilemma. Tough personal situation, for sure, but minus report of felony crime.

While the homeless woman shed tears over her story – in between several upward swipes of her nose – my cop friend was emotionally controlled, perhaps wishing she could exercise the freedom to cry.

So here were two people, one who’d disregarded the law and one a badged officer who’s sworn to uphold it.

Both troubled, both in need of encouragement. God is God of all.

Hear my prayer, O Lord. Listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. Psalm 39:12

I’ve talked with incarcerated men who will never return to their normal world in society but have beat the system and found their escape in Christ. True peace and freedom – without inciting any of those armed correctional officers.

It’s not a felony to be ungrateful (If it were, I’d be slapped a lifetime sentence).

Or to holler at your kid who’s left her shoes out – again.

Or to disrespect another (I did that once. Or twice 🙁 ).

Or refuse to serve the body of Christ (done that too often).

Thing is, those attitudes toss me back into a dismal cell time and time again.

So I find that, on both sides of the law, trouble will find me. Yet God has the key to hope, peace, freedom.

He IS Hope,

He IS Peace,

He IS Freedom.

With grateful hands raised high, I say a hearty 10-4 to that!

Do not let your hearts be troubled! Trust in God; trust also in Me (Jesus). John 14:1


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