A bad cop can become good

THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis

So, after a fun day at the seaside, stuffing our faces with junk food, I arrived home with tummy ache.

I decided that as I was feeling ill, I would have an early night and went to bed at 7p.m…I felt that bad.

I took my trousers off, got into bed and fell asleep quickly. At 9 p.m, I became aware of a familiar sound that filled my hazy mind with dread… the sound of a football being kicked against our fence.

Now, I know it’s no big deal that people play football and it may seem petty that I am bothered by it…but our summer last year was ruined by large groups of youths, kicking the ball against our fence, climbing into our garden to retrieve it and being disrespectful.

Having heard the ball hit again, I went to look out of the window, and as I did, a football sailed through the air and landed in my garden. With lightning speed, two faces appeared at the fence and one young man made to climb over. I was angry now and made my presence known, waving my hand and making it clear he wasn’t allowed in.

He put his hands together, pleading for the ball. I reached up to open the window, remembering too late I only had underwear on my bottom half. Hastily I opened it and crouched down to shout at them.

“Why should I give you your ball back, when you have repeatedly kicked it against my fence and woken me up?”

They looked dumbfounded and uncomfortable…I couldn’t tell if it was my attire or my attitude, but it allowed my husband to go and talk calmly to them. He asked their names, told jokes and shared his knowledge of their language.

He came upstairs to tell me he had given them their ball back …I knew he would in his role of good cop. He said that when he told them about last summer, they looked genuinely sorry for us.

“Did you go to the window dressed like that?”

My sheepish look spoke volumes.

“That explains a lot…” He said, chuckling and left. I sat down, slightly annoyed to hear the ball being played with again. I began to reflect on my reaction and entered into a dialogue with God about “What Would Jesus Do?”

It usually starts with me thinking about what Jesus would NOT do and in this case, I think it’s safe to say He wouldn’t have appeared at the window in His underwear, He wouldn’t have been angry, He wouldn’t have given His side of the story, even though He could have done.

He would have been the good cop and talked to them, asked their names and spoken their language, laughed with them and given the ball back, knowing they may well do the same thing again…

God gives me the same scenario again and again, knowing that I often react with the wrong emotion, yet still He loves me and waits patiently until I learn the right response.

A bad cop can become a good cop in God’s world.