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Bradlee Dean: When Light Shines Out of Darkness
“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
America just celebrated an extended weekend for Memorial Day, saying thank you to those who sacrificed their all for the freedoms Americans now walk in.
In the clutter of all the bad news that is reported on a daily basis – namely the things that are going wrong, that which is negative to and even counterproductive to the freedoms America now possesses – out of nowhere pops up a story of how blessed America truly is, by capturing the goodness of God, even when we forget all of His benefits (Psalm 103) and the grace that has been shed abroad upon this most blessed nation by His Son Jesus Christ.
What makes America strong is the fact that we are “one nation under God.” How can anyone overlook this when we see God by His Spirit, through man, unify us through unhappy and oftentimes painful circumstances?
Here is one such circumstance:
Twenty-nine year-old Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz was a six-year police veteran who also served in the military in Iraq on two tours. On May 19, Officer Raetz stopped a drunk driver when a large SUV struck him and sped away. Raetz was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Raetz left his fellow officers, the community and his family heartbroken.
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia stated, “I honestly don’t have the words to describe the sorrow in my heart for Raetz and his family. He was one of Phoenix’s finest, one of our heroes. The men and women in our department are hurting, and we ask for our communities’ support and recognize our officers’ loss, this city’s loss and the loss for his family.”
The community responded to the call and rose to the level of expectation to define true love – not in words, but in deeds (1 John 3:18).
Over 3,000 members of the community showed up to say their goodbyes and exemplify their support for Officer Raetz and his family.
Police departments across the area found out that Officer Raetz’s daughter, Tatum, was to graduate kindergarten three days after his death. Over 300 officers showed up in her father’s place to attend her graduation, letting her know her family will always have their support.
In addition, Raetz’s best friend from elementary school, Detective Jeff Clement, said he promised Raetz to look after Tatum for the rest of her life (John 15:12-14).
This, America, is love. And this is Christ in the heart of man – a light in a dark place.
I salute our military, our police, our firefighters, etc. and those who serve “We the People” to the good of our people and to the glory of our God.