Yesterday, we hosted the funeral of State Trooper Kevin Dobson (lovingly known to his fellow troopers and friends as KDP 196). Kevin was killed in the line of duty, hit by a pick up during a routine traffic stop. We were asked to host the funeral because of the anticipated crowd. Kevin was a loving father; a dedicated trooper; a good and jovial friend to all who knew him. I regret I did not know him.
It was an impressive sight to see 1800-2000 or more officers from across the country, along with Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy take time to come and honor their fallen comrade. The procession into the Sanctuary took about 50 minutes. Their sense of brotherhood was amazing.
I sat, observed, listened to passionate, fond and loving memories of Kevin. He did as Jesus spoke of, "Laid down his life for his friends." In the midst of the tears that were so appropriate at such a time, I heard two other things that were not directly said, but were loudly voiced none the less. First is the painful and at times fearful reminder that last Saturday could have been our last day, not Kevin's. The facing of mortality raises our own sense of asking "is today my last day?" And if so, how would I live it any differently?
The second thing I heard expressed in various ways is our grappling with eternity. This is the one that struck me the most. We long to have certainty. We tend to speak of our emotionally desired outcome. But do we live in such a way to have certainty at such a time? Can we?
My heart aches for a girlfriend who lost her love; three children that lost their Daddy; a father who lost a beloved son and a brother who lost his. Their pain spurred me on even more about our mission and purpose, because in the midst of it all we can confidently find hope and peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So I spent my few minutes in the service trying to point people to Him.
Please join me in praying that the seeds cast will find receptive soil.