Hiding from it all…

Riley won’t leave Pepper’s rear alone.

That’s part of the reason we’re taking him in to lose his boy bits.  Hopefully the removal will help end the behavior that is so annoying to Pepper.  But it got me to thinking…and I know it’s a bit of a leap of logic but work with me here… sometimes the Holy Spirit is like Riley, poking and sniffing and making us move and do things that we wouldn’t normally want to do.  Granted, it’s a bit of a leap, but let’s keep exploring this.

Whenever Pepper gets too annoyed with Riley she sits down, growls at him, runs away to another part of the house or climbs high places he can’t easily get.  How often in our own lives have we ignored, yelled at or fought against, and run away from what we knew God was calling us to do?  Watching Riley and Pepper together sometimes reminds me of the poem “The Hound of Heaven”, by Francis Thompson:

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.         
      Up vistaed hopes I sped;

How much this seems like the relationship the two of them have.  Yet just like us and the Holy Spirit, whenever Riley leaves to go check on someone else in the house, Pepper seems so very lost and must go find him, even if she’s sorry afterwards because he then wants to play and love on her.

These thoughts and more have been going through my head at the same time I have been thinking about Ferguson, Baltimore and other places around the country that have seen tensions between police and the public they are supposed to protect.  In our own community we have come face-to-face with similar injustice that is causing those of us involved long nights and strong prayers.  I should state right now that I support the police.  I have lots of friends who either are or were in law enforcement and they do a wonderful job in what is arguably one of the toughest professions in the country to work in.  They do not often get the thanks they deserve and take risks most of us would never dream of, on a daily basis.

With that being said however, people who work in law enforcement are not above the law, and when they start acting as though they are, they must be reminded sometimes by removal or revocation of profession, that they work FOR the people of their community.  Police are human.  They make mistakes, bad judgment calls, do things with which we may disagree.  Our job is NOT to crucify those who make a mistake, but to hold accountable people who abuse the trust and responsibility that they have been given.  Once or even twice is understandable.  But carrying out a personal vendetta should not be allowed.  And the fact that multiple people in various walks of life (including other officers) know what has been happening but have done nothing to stop it, is a shameful reminder of our shortcomings as a people.  It is also a reminder that those with power can and do abuse it if not stopped and their actions brought to the light.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, it is not our place to tear apart someone’s life.  But if you are holding the public trust, then you MUST behave in a manner consistent with our trust.  We would much rather see this resolved by meeting all parties and getting people together so that the problems can be worked out.  But we also recognize that in some cases this is not possible or productive.  It does not mean that we are making a blanket statement about any one type of person, career, or situation.  We all are judged on our own actions and the actions we don’t take.

Like Riley and Pepper, even when we don’t want to face it, sometimes the only way to deal with an issue is to turn and face it rather than continuing to hide and pretending that it doesn’t exist.

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