In just one week, Indiana was faced with the death of three police officers. All three died in the line of duty.
One officer, a sheriff deputy, died in a car crash while responding to a crime scene.
The second and third officers were shot—one in Gary, and one on the eastside of Indianapolis.
The latter officer was a 22-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. For more than two decades, he turned down promotions and chose to work in the most dangerous streets in the city. When asked why he chose these particular areas, he responded, “That’s where I’m needed.”
His patrol car, placed on display outside of his station after his death, was soon covered in flowers and letters of gratitude. His funeral will be held in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana’s NBA arena, and will be open to the public. While the way he died will be mourned, his life and service will also be celebrated.
It is certainly a dark time for the state of Indiana, but these three officers will always be remembered for their courage and faithful service.
Bill Owensby of the Fraternal Order of Police described the work of a police officer in this way: “Our job—our calling—is to go out there and run toward danger when everybody else runs away from it.”
As Christians, when we decide to live our lives for Jesus, we were choosing the same life of rejection and persecution that Jesus himself faced.
In John, we read that Jesus didn’t try to keep the trials and sufferings that we will face a secret. He said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
Later in 2 Timothy, Paul writes that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Just like the IMPD officer who chose to be in the middle of the most dangerous areas of Indianapolis, we have missionaries who have placed themselves in the darkest parts of the world. Many days, their lives could be on the line, yet they know that that is where they are needed. Not all of us have experience in the most hostile areas of the world, but each and every one of us will face trials for the life we have chosen. Let us rejoice in the promise in Revelation that when we are "faithful unto death," Jesus will give us the "crown of life."
Let us also put ourselves out there for the sake of the Gospel! When we use our lives to multiply the kingdom, God is pleased. How great it will be when we reach heaven and we hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master"! Not many of us will have funerals in an NBA arena, but that kind of earthly glory will not even compare to the glory that we will see when we reach heaven. Hallelujah!
By Christina Franks, Summer Communications Intern, One Mission Society