By Darryll Davis
It’s not an entirely sad story, though, because I traded in one calling and uniform for another. Leaving the police force to plant Pathways Christian Church required that I put off my police uniform and put on my ministry uniform.
Handing in My Equipment
On my final day I handed in my equipment at the supply unit: taser, riot gear, baton, cuffs, and more. It was upon surrendering my badge that I felt an overwhelming sense of finality. My badge was my smallest piece of equipment. It had no powers of lethal force and no one ever asked what was inscribed on it; yet it was priceless. It was the one thing I put on daily that gave meaning to every other piece of equipment. It symbolized representation—my identity.
Putting on my badge meant I was not only empowered and entrusted, but also included. I belonged to something bigger, more important than lights and sirens and citations. Wearing the badge reminded me I was better than how I felt at times. When spat upon, kicked, bitten, or punched, it kept me focused on who I was and who I represented.
Badge of Honor
Paul reminded the church at Colossae to put on Christ—to be clothed in and to identify with Christ. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love.” There it is—our badge of honor. Wear it. Feel the full weight of it. Put on love. Put it on daily. In essence, love is the tiny engraved script on the badge of our hearts that identifies whose we are and what we represent. Wear it well. Above all else, put on Christ. Put on love.
Darryll Davis lives in Hamilton, Ohio with his wife Marie. Recently retired from the Cincinnati Police Department, he now serves as the lead minister at Pathways Christian Church.