• Jason E. Fort

What do they hear?



Today marks three years since the community of Greenville said goodbye to a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. A fellow officer (though I think she is retired) shared a moving video that was a tribute to the police officer, and throughout the video, the song The Sound of Silence plays. The music itself is so moving; it evokes emotions from deep down, that seem to mysteriously bubble up to the tear ducts - every...single...time.

And yet, this made me wonder... what do they hear? I’ve been fortunate enough to not lose any officers that I worked with directly, but I know so many others who’ve been in this line of work for so long. I can’t help but wonder if they’ve ever asked the same question.

But as our bravest men and women put on their badge for the last time, and work one last shift, and meet that horrible, fateful day - I know what kind of sounds they may hear leading up to their last breath. But can anyone really ever answer that one question...not just for police officers, but for those who give their lives to save someone else, or those who fight for what they believe in their hearts is a just cause, and lose their lives in the process? What do they hear? The song poses one possibility.

But what if that’s not it?

Although I typically write about some of the darkness we face in this world (this note alone is about such matters), I believe they hear something that we would all be glad to hear, were we ever to ‘give up the ghost’ in a similar manner. I especially think this is true for those who pursued their chief end because they thought it served their one true Master best. Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called sons (or children) of God...that’s the famous Bible verse that is often referred to as the law enforcement mantra. The optimist in me believes that God welcomes his servants, who gave their lives trying to keep the peace, sincerely - with open arms, and a voice that would calm storms.

I believe that once that faithful officer, or soldier, or protector, or first responder, takes their last breath here on Earth, and everything fades to black for their Earthly bodies... I believe their spiritual eyes are opened to beautiful white light as they are zipped forward into time. I believe as the sounds of sirens, or gunshots, or yelling and screaming, or vehicles colliding, or helicopters flying, or dogs barking, or loved ones crying, or preachers preaching, all fade to memory - God welcomes them into His kingdom with open arms and tells them,

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Perhaps that is something we can all look forward to hearing, if we all serve God in our own way, blessing others with peace by spreading God’s good Word, even if we don’t take a bullet for someone, or get hit by a moving vehicle. Perhaps the sound of silence, is simply what we hear back on Earth, as that precious person’s soul leaves us, and a void is left as the soul moves on.

One can only wonder... and hope.

God bless the brothers and sisters in blue.


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