Last night I was going on about my daily life, serving my one day a week in the library at church in case anyone running youth night needed anything. A friend came in trying to locate some electronic equipment for an upcoming activity and mentioned that her husband's plans for the evening had changed drastically. You see, there had been a hostage situation in a nearby county and the gunman was still a threat. She said it so casually, her concern tempered by experience.
Her husband isn't one of the front line police officers, but rather one of those individuals who works for the government in an area that requires him to put his life on hold every time a major emergency arises. Even though I used to work in one of these types of jobs, it still hits me every time something like this happens. Many of us watch the news and forget about the people living it first hand, not just the victims but the emergency responders who perform in so many roles.
We expect our armed forces to keep our country safe, we expect the police and fire departments to protect our communities. We even expect the intelligence community to be practically superhuman in ferreting out the information that will keep evil at bay. What we don't always think about is the training these people go through day in and day out, the mundane tasks that ensure important details will be available when needed, and even those extra hours they put in because of unexpected dangers that arise.
So this morning, I'm reminding myself that there are a lot of people out there worrying about their husbands or wives, sons or daughters, fathers or mothers. They are praying for the safety of these family members to return home safely, whether it's from a hard day on the job or months away at war. Maybe the rest of us can offer up some prayers, too, that peace will rein today and that the Lord will watch over those protecting our freedoms.