A Letter to Police Wives After Baton Rouge and Dallas

Dear Police Wives,

I sat with shock on this quiet Sunday morning and watched with horrified grief as some of your husbands, in bullet proof vests, ran across a highway in Baton Rouge, trying to catch the man who had just killed or wounded 6 of your spouses without becoming another one of his victims.

cnn screen shot
Screen shot: CNN.com

At least three are dead. Three more wounded. Six people who on any given day are putting their lives on the line to protect and serve the citizens of their city or county, regardless of whether they know them or not, regardless of whether they are “good guys” or “bad guys,” are not coming back.

They would have stepped in front of a bullet for any of us, no matter what. But now they no longer have the choice.

Because once again this morning someone has killed some of your husbands on purpose. Targeted them, walked around menacingly with a gun because he knew police would be called. And when they came, he started shooting.

“Jesus, come back.” These are words I have said far too often over this past month. Starting with Alton Sterling’s death, then Philandro Castile, the those dedicated officers in Dallas. On to the terrorist attacks in Nice, France on Friday night. I do my best to change our world, as your husbands do. But once again our world seems not to be brought together by the good people are doing, just pushed further and further apart by the bad. And all police officers are defined by the few bad one and all black people are defined by the few bad ones and all white people are defined by the few bad ones and the vicious cycle just. keeps. churning.

But you can’t focus on that right now. You’re grieving, you can barely breathe, you may be locked in your bedroom with a pillow to your mouth to drown out your sobs, because HOW are you going to tell your BABIES that their worst fears have come true, that nightmares are real, that Daddy’s never coming home, that today, today…the bad guys won?

Before I sat down to write this I did the only thing I could do for you now: I prayed. I know in all honesty, it’s the only thing any of us strangers can do, besides express our deep, deep, sorrow and deep, deep gratitude for your husband’s lives of service.

But for my part, I’m also going to use my words to show support for you and your families, to say, “NO! THIS IS NOT OKAY! STOP ATTACKING OUR POLICE!” just as I’ve also used it to say “NO! THIS IS NOT OKAY! STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK MEN!”

And I’ll use it to say this truth: your husbands put their lives on the line for us EVERY DAY. As Shetamia Taylor, the only civilian shot in Dallas, a black woman with four black sons, said, “I’m thankful for the police because they had no regard for their life and protected us.”

No regard for their life.

They did NOT deserve this. They did NOT ask to be gunned down in cold blood. Nothing they’ve done in life, good or bad, should have led to this.

Oh, sweet wives, sweet mamas, I am so sorry. So, so sorry. I grieve with you, I pray for you. I know it’s not enough, but I am with you.

And for the wives who breathe a sigh of relief that today, for now, their husbands are safe: I pray for you too. I am SO thankful for your husband’s service, and I pray that this day will NEVER come for you. That what they will earn for their years of services will be the love, support and gratitude of their communities.

God bless you all, and Jesus be near.

With love and prayers, and a grateful, grateful heart,


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.