For those of you who don’t know, S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. It’s a group of specially trained police officers who handle the most difficult and dangerous situations. They go into harm’s way when the rest of us are running the opposite direction. In most cities, the S.W.A.T. Team is on regular police duty, but can jump into their unique role as a specialized unit at the drop of a hat to handle the most difficult of situations.
When “Sam” (see previous blog: “Spiritual Warfare Spilled Into My Home,” and the follow up blog, “Sam’s Apology For Damaging My Home”) turned my house into what looked like a war zone, two very nice, young policemen came to my house (in only 4 minutes!) and rendered aid. When they had Sam secure in the back of one of the police cars, they came into the house and surveyed the damage (about $42,000.00 worth).
“What were you doing?” one of them asked.
“We were having a Bible study,” I responded.
“A BIBLE STUDY?” he repeated.
“Yes.” I smiled.
This is the scene he viewed from just inside the front door:
As he walked around the house looking at all the damage, stepping over shattered glass and broken furniture, he stopped and looked up at me.
“Do you want to press charges?” he questioned.
“No,” came my immediate response… “We have known this family for many years, and I don’t want to do that unless I’m forced to.”
He seemed surprised, but accepted my decision and left. As he was going out the door, I called him back.
“Thank you for coming. I appreciate your service to this city and community. And I think I know what this happened.”
Intrigued, he answered with, “Why?”
“Well,” I began, “I am a Christian author. And I teach on prayer and spiritual warfare. Satan doesn’t like what I’m doing, so I think I’m a target. He wants to discourage me to stop it.”
I explained a little further, and then offered him a copy of my latest book on the subject, “What Are The Stakes? God Markers On The Land.”
He took it and thanked me. I thought I’d probably never see him again.
(Funny how life works–I had never called 9-1-1 in my life, and ended up having to call it twice in a 48-hour period!)
But I did meet him again. He came to my house yesterday evening…
I heard a knock on the door, and as I approached I saw it was a police car in front of the house. Curious, I opened the front door. And then I saw his face, and he was holding the book I had given him the day my house got wrecked. I smiled. He smiled. We shook hands and I invited him in.
“Mr Hemphill,” he began. “I finished your book, and you are spot on. I am team leader for the local S.W.A.T. Team, and your response that day I came here changed my life.”
“How is that?” I questioned.
“I had the suspect handcuffed, ready to file charges. All I needed was the ‘OK’ from you, which I thought was a foregone conclusion. But I asked you about filing charges and you said no. I couldn’t believe it.
You need to understand that although I am a believer, I wasn’t living right at the time. Seeing your disaster and hearing you decline to press charged caught me completely off guard. I’m going back to church now, and I have my life right with Jesus again. I want to thank you for that.”
“Wow. You’re welcome,” was all I could think to say.
“I want you to know that our S.W.A.T. Team is a fine, oiled machine. We are well-trained and prepared for any situation. We know what we are doing, and we go into harm’s way. And they are a great bunch of guys… but … not every guy has his life right with God. So I was just thinking…” He hesitated. So I interjected what I thought he wanted.
“Do you want me to give you books and stakes for the S.W.A.T. Team?”
He smiled, thankful I had figured out what he really wanted.
“How many on the team?” I asked.
I was floored. “You bet,” answered. “Let me get a box and gather everything up for you. No charge.”
Lord, thank You for the men and women who protect us as they go into harm’s way every single day. Put Your mightiest angels around them and give them peace and comfort as they do their job. Keep them well and safe until they all draw close to you and get their lives right through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)