Prayer Instead Of Punishment

Weekly Devotional

Police officers already do much for our country and the cities in which they serve. But let me tell you a true story that happened last year, when Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil did something particularly outstanding.

Durnil caught Rodney Gibson speeding in his truck and pulled him over. When Durnil approached the vehicle, he could tell that Gibson was especially upset and angry, but realized it was over something other than his traffic violation.

The officer tried to figure out the problem. With tears in his eyes, Gibson explained that his daughter recently informed him that  the breast cancer she had been battling for the last six years had come back and she probably wasn't going to make it. Gibson revealed that he had been thinking about this and wasn't paying any attention to his speed.

Officer Durnil went back to his police car thinking that what Gibson really needed was not a ticket, but prayer.

Durnil felt the man was already going through enough and decided not to issue him a ticket or even a warning. After telling Gibson this, the officer asked him if there was anything else he could do.

Gibson asked, "Do you know how to pray?"

Having already thought about this, Durnil went over to the right side of the vehicle, took off his hat, knelt down on one knee, grabbed Gibson's hand and prayed with him on the side of the road.

Both men departed with tears in their eyes. Gibson later called the police station to thank Durnil for his kindness.

Of everything that officer Durnil did well, perhaps above all else what he did was to offer compassion by praying. How refreshing it is to see people responding with such kindness.

Often times Jesus stood face to face with some of the most detestable sinners of society and instead of dealing out punishment, our Savior had compassion for the people.

Even as he hung there nailed to the cross, Jesus responded with, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do."(Luke 23:24)

What a tremendous attitude! How comforting it is to know we serve a Lord of exceptional love and compassion.

Let us strive to imitate this compassion when in our relationship with others when the time is right.

The Marlin Democrat

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Marlin, TX 76661
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