The Chaplain's Notebook


There are times in our lives when we may become discouraged in pursuing our hopes or dreams because of someone’s actions or words. Other times, we may become discouraged in humanity when the expectation of another’s behavior falls short. During my ride-alongs with some of you, I have observed situations that may have left you wondering whether your hard work will make a difference on those you’ve encountered.

Examples of such encounters are: when you advised a young homeless man to call his parents for help, but he was uninterested and shirked your advice, or when you responded to a teenager under the influence of substances at a park, and they were disinterested in your words of concern and the consequences of their actions. In your career as a law enforcement officer, there may be times when your hard work is not appreciated or when your words are disregarded. Do not be discouraged by this, as there are times when your presence has changed the lives of those you have helped — like the individual you saved from suicide, the disoriented elderly individual you helped deliver home safely and the bullied child who regained his confidence and a sense of security from your encouraging words.

Even though certain situations may discourage you or may make you question the degree of influence you have on the community, do think about the times that your presence and words have changed people’s lives for the better. What a blessing that is. When you have doubts or feel discouraged, you can simply remind yourself of all the lives you have protected and helped.

You are an amazing individual, and God put you in this position for a reason. He will continue to encourage you and give you the strength to succeed. “May the sun shine warm upon your face, and may His blessings fall softly on your loved ones and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

How can I contact a chaplain? Chaplains are available at their unit of assignment, or by calling the Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500.