The motorcycle cop was hiding—very sneakily—in the shadows, waiting, waiting…. I peeked at my speedometer and gently tapped the brake as I passed. Too late! The red and blue lights flashed hideously in the rearview mirror. That was quite alright though; I was ready and willing to show this cop what was up…. and down.
Pulling over, my two little girls panicked in their car seats. I assured them that I was only going to get a ticket, hoping of course that I would be let off with a warning; after all, I was a servant of the Most High God.
“License please,” the policeman requested firmly without a smile. I mentioned that it was in the trunk. Cautiously, I opened it and said it was in a fanny pack in my backpack, “You don’t have any weapons, do you?” he asked.
Taking my I.D. he walked back to his bike to write a ticket. I sat down in the driver’s seat to mull over the ridiculous charge that I was doing 56 in a 40 zone.
“Daddy?” Little Laurel asked with great concern. “Are you going to jail?”
“Can I tell Mama that you got a ticket?” asked D.D. with even greater concern.
“It’s okay,” I answered with slight irritation, “these things happen.”
There’s no way I was going 56. Maybe 46. I’m going to fight it. Maybe he won’t show up in court. Dang. They get overtime, of course he’ll show up.
“Sign here, please,” the officer said upon his return. I smiled, signed the completely unwarranted, unfair, unreasonable, ridiculous—stupid—ticket.
As I handed back the citation, the Spirit of God fell on me in power. I set my face like flint and locked onto the officer’s gaze. Opening my mouth in a rush of holy inspiration I spoke: “You are an enforcer of the law, right?” He nodded. “God has a law too. May I ask you a question? If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?” To my relief, he didn’t draw his gun. Nor did he do a “Rodney King” on me.
“Heaven,” he replied, “because I do good things; I’m fair.”
“So you’re a good person?”
“Yes,” he said with a scant bit of humanness.
“Do you believe the Bible?”
“Well, according to the Bible, if you do just one wrong thing, break just one of God’s laws, you have to pay the penalty in hell. Have you ever lied?”
He thought about it. I waited. A few seconds went by and then he reluctantly admitted that he had. I’m sure he was hoping that I wasn’t Internal Affairs.
I continued the cross-examination, “Have you ever stolen anything?”
“NO!” he exclaimed a little too convincingly.
“C’mon. Even when you were little?”
“Now why should I believe you?” I asked while seriously pushing my luck. “You just admitted that you had lied.” I smiled at him. He smiled back in a coppish sort of way. “Have you ever looked at a woman lustfully? If so, then Jesus said that you have committed adultery with her in your heart. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?”
The officer admitted guilt to both counts.
I went for the whole enchilada at this point. Using anointed verbal judo, the poor public servant didn’t stand a chance when confronted with his transgressions of the law. “By your own admission,” I said firmly but gently, “you are a liar, an adulterer and a blasphemer. I don’t mean any disrespect, that is just how God sees you.”
Sheepishly, he said, “I understand.”
Because this good cop was concerned about hell and God’s judgment of his sin, I gave him the good news of Jesus Christ. I explained that every sin he had ever committed was paid for by Jesus dying on a cross.
Next, something happened that was so awe-inspiring and wonderful in its poignancy and simplicity that I almost wanted to cry. The heavens might have opened; Karen Carpenter sang a love song from eternity; for just one moment, all was right with the world. Frozen in time, and etched in my mind forever will be the words that Officer Jerry said to me in complete humility, “I’m sorry about the ticket.”
I recovered quickly from the shock and cheerfully replied, “That’s okay; you were just enforcing the law.”
I pulled away from the curb.