2 of 31 Days: Running From God’s Friend
In law enforcement we had a saying, “You can run from the cops, but you’ll just go to jail tired.” God has that same philosophy.
Doing Wrong Time
I started running about a year ago after Gateway Church shared the story of a man who at 18 years old was sentenced to life in prison for murder. Almost 35 years later he was immediately released because he was wrongfully charged.
God told me that day we’d be friends. My response was, no way. He probably hates cops. I mean, how could he not after 35 years in prison. As time went on, I’d see him at events, but I avoided him. With about 40,000 active members, it’s easy to stay lost in the congregational crowd.
A month ago, God really pressed it upon me to stop running, and introduce myself to him. Something odd was stirring inside of me. It was fear. What if he found out I was a cop. I just knew he’d hate me because of what others had done to ruin his life.
Each week after that God positioned this man so I’d see him or walk past him. I ran the other way.
Two weeks ago I’m in my comfortable seat at the end of an aisle and was engaged with Leah and Max. Someone asked to get by. “Sure,” I said as I began to stand up.
It was him.
There was nowhere to hide. I knew God had got me, and my running days were over. I introduced myself and shared that his testimony had meant so much to me. In those few minutes, we talked like we’d known each other our entire lives.
Today, we sat for several hours over lunch, and shared our journeys. There were so many similarities, and he knew like I did that our becoming friends wasn’t coincidental. It was an intentional friendship.
Honestly, I struggled in my first year after retirement. I was no longer instantly recognized for what I did, and the brotherhood of a thin blue line had vanished as I relocated to Dallas as one of millions of civilians.
In that year, I had no friends, no hobbies, and definitely no sense of location in a major metropolis. In so many ways, I was lost. But when I stopped running, God began to show me that it wasn’t about being lost, it was about finding me. Not Scott the cop, but Scott the servant, and child of God.
He showed me to pursue friendships instead of expecting them because of my position and what others I could do for me. I had been a consumer of relationships instead of a giver of my time and attention.
God has been pointing to other brothers and saying go meet him, and despite who they are or what they do, I’ve cultivated new, strong bonds with men that can do nothing for me but be my friend.
So, no, Gene McGuire wasn’t mad at me, or actually mad at anyone. God has raised him up from the darkness of an unjust criminal conviction to share the gospel for a spiritual conviction. His story, Unshackled: From Ruin to Redemption shares his witness.
Only God can break those chains from a past of pain, and bring someone into redemption to bless others. I’m thankful that I stopped running. Or to be more precise, God had Gene box me in on the aisle. Either way, today was a very good day 2