Last week a longtime and dear friend was robbed and assaulted at her place of business in Wichita Falls. She spent the night in the hospital stemming from her injuries. It is hard to describe, but I felt like a member of my own family had been hurt. The feelings I had toward the perpetrator were not….well I probably should not share them.
I knew intuitively that the fine men and women who serve in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Wichita Falls Police Dept. would do an exceptional job taking care of the criminal aspect of this case. I was a part of the original group of volunteer chaplains for the department who began serving in 1990. I am fully aware of their professionalism and commitment to citizens in that community.
Several key events have taken place over the past 9 days since this horrific event took place. My friend who was victimized decided to re-open her shop Monday of this week. In a way I am not surprised. She is a tenacious lady. And she is a person of tremendous faith.
Sunday evening members of the Tenth and Broad Church of Christ planned a rather unusual worship service. A group of church members gathered on the parking lot of the store where the robbery took place for praise and worship. They spent some meaningful time seeking God’s intervention for everyone impacted by the felonious event the previous week. I wish I could have been there, but based on comments that I saw on facebook it appeared as if it was a moving experience for every individual present. Again I am not surprised. I was fortunate enough to serve as a minister on the staff at Tenth and Broad from 1987-1995. They are an extraordinary group of people. In times of personal tragedy, I have been on the receiving end of their collective love and compassion.
Monday WFPD investigators arrested the man who allegedly committed the robbery. He has been booked into the Wichita County Jail on two counts of robbery. I am sure additional news regarding the investigation and his subsequent arrest will be released at the appropriate time.
I am thankful this morning for a host of reasons. I am grateful that my friends in Wichita Falls can go back to work with less anxiety. I am thankful for a church family who possesses a spirit of compassion that seems to know no end. And I am grateful for the exceptionally committed officers who comprise the team at the Wichita Falls Police Dept.
As I begin my day, all of the individuals involved in taking care of my friends in Wichita Falls have inspired me to worker a little harder. There are people in my church family in Granbury who need compassionate care. I have a group of dedicated police officers and troopers working in patrol and in criminal investigations who need solid encouragement as they provide tremendous service to citizens in crisis. And I think it would be good to think in terms of worshiping out of the box…whatever that may mean. It occurs to me today that you can rob money from a person, but you cannot rob them of the love and kindness that a great church fmaily will provide. Serving the servant sounds like a good plan to me today.