Karen Carroll: Shield a Badge With Prayer — a plea to be aware

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2022

By Karen Carroll

Being aware takes effort. Many today are so overwhelmed with the tasks of providing basic needs for their families that they have little strength left to focus on others. This is a terrible tool of destruction used against humanity. When society is in order, balances occur. People work, get tired, rest, feel accomplished and continue with life, having clearness of mind and kindness of heart to acknowledge and appreciate the ones who help them succeed.

As chaos prevails among us, we are forced to see the most horrible events we have ever known to be publicized. Neighborhoods become crime labs, homes are war zones and  lives are broken. We all need help. When we think we do not have time to pray, we are definitely too busy! Opinions vary, and they are surely affected by forces from all sides. Our duty is to use wisdom and discernment in what we believe. Often, catastrophe jars us into reality.

If you have never faced a truly dangerous, even life-threatening situation, you will not be able to know the challenges and decisions of someone who deals with such horror, especially on a regular basis. Nobody should have to live in the constant grip of fear, especially in a country that promises freedom and liberty. But evil people in authority have changed the laws we knew in our younger years, and we are left to contend with the consequences of turmoil.

Media smears the reputation of diligent, caring law enforcement officers who sacrifice family, risk their lives and face constraints while trying to de-escalate and detain those who harm others. Can you imagine the task of being civil to persons who are abusing or threatening a child? Or committing violent, heinous acts against people they have in bondage or recklessly driving to the extent of harming,  even killing innocents? Or attempting and executing murder?

Many times, those wearing badges become human shields, saving the lives of the intended victims. Even in domestic violence, when parties who know each other are fighting, the officer can be harmed, even murdered. And the passionate hostility continues between the ones who began the incident, while the families of the fallen officers grieve.

For every bad story of a person who wears a badge, there are volumes of true accounts of officers who secured safety for people that never realize their setting, or of the blessing in having those who protect and serve. And how do we show our gratitude? Chaplain Michael Taylor introduced one means of expressing our thanks 27 years ago in a program he calls Shield a Badge With Prayer.

If officers are dedicated to helping others, they need our prayers for grace and support, for safety and wisdom. For those who have become hardened to the daily evil they encounter, they need extra prayers for encouragement to see their function in the correct light. Every person who wears a badge needs the commitment of prayer from the ones they serve.

Taylor has worked tirelessly for over a quarter of a century, seeking support for officers in many areas, taking donations from individuals and businesses, so that he can provide Bibles, materials for help, gifts and assistance in fundamental communication and relationships. Rowan County has a friend in Taylor, a military veteran and preacher.

Although he has suffered health issues and losses of his own, Taylor works to offer spiritual and emotional encouragement as he volunteers with the law enforcement teams. As times get more stressful, the plea for prayer is greater. And people who will join in prayer for their communities, citizens and for all who wear a badge that identifies them as servants and protectors, will surely receive a blessing in knowing that God’s help is nigh. Every person who is aware would have to agree with the following verse:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” (Romans 15:30)

If you wish to join Taylor in his volunteer efforts of encouragement, call 704-782-7201. Or you can send a memorial gift to Shield a Badge With Prayer, Chaplain Michael Taylor, 2122 Hopedale Street, Kannapolis, NC, 28083.

Karen Carroll is a friend of the Shield A Badge With Prayer program.