Greater love has no one than this,
The procession lasted for more than 30 minutes. They were honoring the fallen hero, Antwan Toney, the Gwinnett County police officer who was killed in the line of duty last week. From where I could see, just before that procession there were thousands who lined the street. Most of them never knew Officer Toney, but they knew what he did- Protect and Serve.
He laid down his life in protection of us, his friends, and his friends showed their heartfelt appreciation. It all hit me so hard that I was unprepared for the out flowing of tears. My service in the Marines in Viet Nam and my experience in returning home through the LA Airport to get spit on, to my son's death, to just realizing what a commitment to serve means and to see this outpouring was staggering.
And then I thought about the Lord, as if all of that wasn't enough. Many people gathered along the route to the cross, but so few were in his funeral procession. But yet, he considered us his friends to protect and serve. He was Called To Duty and he bore the cost of that commitment with honor and courage way beyond what any of us may ever face.
He was spit on, so was I. He was mocked and criticized, so was Officer Toney and most of his fellow officers. But when you are called to protect and serve, you are not promised respect, you are only given that experience that you saved someone's life, maybe more than one.
Some may spit on and mock the Good News of the Gospel, but they cannot deny Jesus died in the line of duty, fully aware that most of us would never fully appreciate that sacrifice.
It took another's sacrifice to help me remember, but yesterday I remembered and I appreciated!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.