Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Bullet Proof Moose"

That couldn’t have been my son…standing there in a bulletproof vest! What happened to little Shawn, stumbling down a “grassy knoll” trying to catch a football that he could just about hide behind? What happened to the “little guy” whose feet didn’t reach the edge of the passenger seat in my SUV? Those size 18s (not really) were now getting shoved into police-issue work boots, as Shawn Jr. begins his training…with our city’s Police Department. Yep, Shawn Jr. wants to help others…as a policeman.

But what do I do with that information…as a dad?

On one hand, very few things are as pride-prompting as having your son come in and say, “Dad I’m feeling led to serve as a police officer.” It’s inspiring to see God raising your son up to be a contributor to his community.

But how do you watch your only child preparing to put himself in the line of danger? To strap on the extra large Kevlar and say, “Bring it on?” I couldn’t even make it through the fitting. I was clicking away taking pictures on my Droid like it was his first day of kindergarten when the woman behind the counter said, “Boy your dad sure is proud.” Looking back over his shoulder Shawn Jr. asked, “Is he CRYING?!”

Only a little. But I remember a day when a child size helmet and jersey would swallow him whole. When he wore a lion suit at AutumnFest* because his dad was a Roman Gladiator. When he would pretty much fit into my hand with tiny arms and legs spilling over. Now Laurie & I wonder how on earth this refrigerator of a young man came from us! Our fun-loving boy has grown into a caring man – AND a moose of a guy! He’s a big dude – but with a warm smile. That’s a combination God can use in today’s Police Force.

But as a PASTOR, there’s more going on here than just parental pride. I can’t help but believe this is part of God’s ultimate plan for him to make a difference in the lives of others, including in the local church. I think of all the things that each of us learn by serving others, making sacrifices, being responsible for ourselves and our community…all of that sounds like ministry to me. It sounds like a leader. So I can’t help but pray that God is fostering this in him – and that he is PROTECTED in the meantime…from “powers and principalities” and punks.

If you think of it…would you join me in prayer for him – that this “little kid” who’s now hitting the streets in ride-alongs as a “bullet proof moose,” would be kept safe and strong, and be used by God in mighty ways for the citizens our region.

Shawn Jr. tells me, “Dad, I’ll bust’em…and you save ‘em.” I have a feeling somewhere down the line, he might find himself called to the “saving” too – whether that’s on the streets of O’side, or here at New Venture. But for now…my son has got himself a deal!!!