Yesterday I braved the hordes of last minute shoppers and made a mad dash to Target for some very special little toys.
The other day our officers worked a DUI crash. One of the cars involved held a small family who had their trunk full of Christmas gifts for their little boy, who was also in the car. All of those presents got destroyed in an instant, when their world changed and they were hit by a drunk driver. By the grace of God the family was able to come out with only minor injuries and a couple of broken bones. Their idea of what the holidays were going to hold, however, was severely altered.
The next morning my officer mentioned that a bunch of them were getting gifts for the boy, to be delivered on Christmas Day. And so I braved the holiday madness to pick up a few small toys for this precious family.
I say this not to bring attention to this small act of kindness, but to bring attention to the thousands of acts of kindness that our officers deliver each and every day. Sometimes it’s buying presents (out of their own pocket, even when it blows the holiday budget) for a child. Sometimes it’s buying a cup of coffee for the person behind them in line. Sometimes it’s giving their only pair of gloves to the homeless man on the corner. Sometimes it’s sitting an extra few minutes with the elderly veteran who has many stories to tell and no family to share it with. Sometimes it’s stopping to shoot hoops with the neighborhood teens instead of taking a proper lunch.
All across America, every single day, our first responders go above and beyond to serve their communities. We don’t get to hear about these stories often-typically the news is overrun with the negative stuff. We, as a society, have deemed these “heartwarming stories” as small fluff pieces at best, instead of the headliners that controversial shootings and questionable body cam footage receive.
Personally, I think it should be the other way around. I’d much rather see the photos of small heartfelt moments and stories of pure human connection. And so, on this Christmas Eve Eve, I’d like for you to look at this photo-this grainy photo of a few simple toys stuffed in a bag in the dim evening night next to a soggy patrol car-and think about the sacrifices that our first responders make for us, the general public, deserving or not, simply because they believe it’s their call to serve.
And if that’s not Christmas magic, then I don’t know what is 💙