It was a warm summer night when my dispatcher aired a shooting at one of our local bars that was known for trouble. "Shots fired. Man down in the parking lot." I hate to say that it was just another call similar to the countless ones I have been on in my career, but unfortunately it's just a reflection of the disintegration of society that has become common place in our larger cities today.
The victim was transported by medics to the hospital. I was instructed by my sergeant to follow the medic to the hospital and sit with the man until the detectives arrived. This is common practice as we have to maintain a chain of custody. At the time, the victim was evidence and it is law enforcements duty to ensure that no evidence is corrupted until the detectives take control of the evidence and do their thing.
I have seen a lot of death in my career and this was no more unusual than any other shooting I had been involved with in the past. Well, at least I thought. Upon our arrival to the hospital, the ER doctor pronounced the victim dead. We have now left the realm of felonious assault and had entered into a homicide case at that point. The trauma team placed the deceased in a body bag and wheeled him to a room as I followed closely behind.
This may sound cold hearted to the average person but remember, it's just another day on the job for me. When you are in a high stress environment such as a police officer, firefighter, doctor, soldier, etc., you learn to emotionally distance yourself from the situation, otherwise it would eventually break you. After the hospital staff left the room, it was just me and him for the next few hours sitting in this small room waiting on dectectives to arrive. Fortunately, there was a tv so I began channel flipping to pass the time.
After about 20 minutes of sitting there, I heard a small still voice that was familiar. It was God speaking to me. God and I talk on a regular basis but this time He challenged me to a whole new level that my faith couldn't take me to. He said "Pray for that man and raise him." I replied to my creator "WHAT?!" and He said "Do you have the faith to raise this man?" Now I know I shouldn't argue with God but this was a whole new experience for me. I mean I'm a bible believing, spirit filled christian that believes gifts and miracles are still in operation today but I never thought of myself as a miracle worker.
I continued to argue with God a few more minutes until I decided I wasn't going to win and obedience was my best option. As I rose from the chair and walked to the body, I just thought to myself that I hope no one came into the room. As I stood next to the man zipped up in this body bag, I noticed some blood from his wounds had started to seep through and thought this guy is beyond anything I could possibly do for him. I asked God what I should do and He said to me "Place your hand on his head and pray." I placed my hand on his head and prayed so intensly for 15 minutes that I broke out into a sweat. He was just as dead after my prayer as he was before.
God taught me a few things through that experience:
1) God will not ask us to do something that He hasn't promised us we can do. I know that the Holy Spirit lives within me. I know that power can raise the dead. The problem wasn't that I couldn't do it, I just didn't have the faith.
2) God wants to bring us into such a revelation of Himself that we see circumstances and situations through His eyes. Through His eyes, nothing is impossible.
It is my hope that I will eventually come to that place in my walk where I will see circumstances with the eyes of God. As long as we remain faithful to His call, He will never stop stretching and challenging us. He takes us from glory to glory.