Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas prayer

This was the first Christmas since 1981, as I recall, that I wasn't at work. I only remember two Christmas days in the past 38 that I was off duty.  It was strange being at home, and I have a new appreciation for the feeling Tonja has had these many years.  All day long, I thought about the officers, firefighters, and dispatchers working on Christmas.

I also found myself wondering what normal people do on Christmas, until I discovered my own answer: they go to the movies.  My own desire to see the latest Mission Impossible flick proved to be, indeed, a mission impossible.  That will have to wait for a later date.  Late in the afternoon, though, we slipped out on a mission of our own, to find a recipient of a random act of kindness, an annual tradition for Tonja and her coworkers.  We tapped on the window of a young mom with two toddlers at a convenience store, and handed an envelope of cash through the car door, with a simple "Merry Christmas". 

It wasn't an easy day for the emergency services personnel.  A tragic gunshot suicide on Christmas day occurred.  I pray that the victim's family and friends are able to cope with the loss. Although this was the most major case, there was plenty of other work to do.  The police department responded to 169 incidents on Christmas.  That's a little less than half a normal Saturday, but it included a dozen assaults, three child abuse cases, two death investigations, four burglaries, and the usual flotsam and jetsam of human behavior.  You've got to wonder about the motivation for shoplifting a six pack of Earthquake beer on Chirstmas.  Is that a microbrew?

Lincoln Fire & Rescue responded to 52 incidents.  During the early morning hours on the 26th, we responded to a house fire where a young father was critically injured. Fortunately, is wife and two children escaped unharmed.  I thank God that he is still alive, and pray for his recovery.


H said...

I've always thought the best part of doing a "random act of kindness" was never bragging to anyone that you had done it.

Just sayin'

Grundle King said...

I've always thought the best part of doing a "random act of kindness" was the example you set for others.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Although expressing how a simple gesture of kindness, or in other words a "random act of kindness" can easily be mistaken as "bragging", it is a good, yet subtle reminder that anyone is capable of bringing a smile to someone less fortunate as us each and every day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!!!

Steve said...


Perhaps, rather than bragging, Tom was attempting to spread the idea of being kind to strangers. Another act of kindness is keeping your bad thoughts about others to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the director had nothing at all to do with this random act of kindness, other than driving, and is simply describing someone else's philanthropy. Might be a good thing for others to consider, rather than yet another Christmas potluck at work....

I appreciate all those who continued working on the holidays to protect and serve their fellow citizens.

Anonymous said...

We started a new tradition this year and listened to an internet recording of Insight For Living. This past year I have become an every day listener. Back in 1982 while in the local iron bench Inn was when I first found the program on the radio. I must relate a true Christmas blessing my family had this year on this birthday celebration.
Our dog Jazzy was staying at my son's house while Emmy, Jazzy's sister, stayed at home with me recovering from an operation that put a prosthetic eye in place of one lost to glucoma.
Panic set in after learning Jazzy had bolted from the yard and headed to Woods Park. I search the area by car while my wife is at home crying. I call KFOR and they put out a description. My phone rings and it is a stranger telling me they too are looking in the vacinity. Then I get a call about a craigslist ad.
Sometimes the best friends in life are the one's we have never met. Jazzy is home now, and Emmy navigates around the house with the lamp shade protection she must wear for seven more days.I call the stranger and explain the good result that Jazz is home.
The emotional roller coaster was wild. Learning from the stranger that his dog died just three days ago, he said he and his wife resolved to help others and in turn work through the grief they have. This Christmas had a special delivery. It is this message: In trouble times that we all have or will have, seeking the one who came for the lowest of the low, is the best and most promising action one can take. He will take it from there.

Anonymous said...

Tom-Do you guys still have the Santa Cop program?


Heart of Gold Jewelers ~ said...

Great post! Glad you could enjoy the day.
And, @H, it ain't braggin' if ya actually DID it.

Anonymous said...

It's okay to tell others that you committed a 'Random Act of Kindness.' It takes away nothing from the joy the recipient feels. And besides, Tom is just sharing what he did Christmas day. I enjoyed reading about it. However, I wish it would have been ME that received the cash! LOL! Maybe next year?!