Artwork by MDCN
My husband is a superhero. Yep, you heard me right. My husband recently became a police officer. It’s been a dream of his since he was little. To protect and serve. “Why do you want to be a police officer”, he was often asked. “I want to help people”. Simple as that. He began applying fresh out of college. His passion for law enforcement never died despite some early disappointing misses. Throughout the years, he never shook this nagging feeling. Have you ever had dream unrealized? A desire you can’t shake? An unanswered prayer? An unanswered question? “Why didn’t that work out for me?”
Until one day, with his birthday deadline approaching, he asked me, “Do you mind if I give it another shot?” And without hesitation, I replied, “Go for it.” And that was it. Something transformed in him. Something was reignited. This unrealized dream was now turning into a plan. An achievable goal. And it had to work. He was the old guy. This was it for him. All the late nights at the gym. The meal planning. The practicing interviewing. The praying. Becoming a police officer is not something anyone just stumbles into or tries out. It is an intentional lifelong service. A sacrifice. You are never really off the clock. Some sit on hiring lists for years. And some never make it. It has to be in your soul, and you have to blood, sweat, and tears it. God created the vision, and my husband ran hard with it. Many ask, “Why on Earth would you want to be a police officer this day in age where people don’t value, don’t respect, nor do they trust authority?” His answer has remained the same: to help people.
I was the first person he called when he got the news. I shared the news with our kids. “Daddy did it!”, our middle one had shouted. I had the honor of holding our Bible while he swore his oath and the honor of struggling to pin on his badge (it’s way more difficult than you think). The privilege watching him graduate from the Academy with a broken ankle and all! Still, so handsome in his uniform. The pride. The honor. The courage. The call.
But what if this was just a job? Just a title. What if his uniform was just work attire? What if his squad car was just another vehicle? What if 51 was just a number? What if his badge was just a fancy piece of metal? Because what if the badge doesn’t make the man, but what if the man actually makes the badge. A symbol is just a picture without the character to carry it.
What if the day he became a superhero wasn’t just when he took the oath or when he graduated but were also all the times before? The times he’s made his parents proud. Superhero. The times he’s helped people move, and he doesn’t even own a truck. Superhero. The moments he realized his new baby was a girl and the first time he held each of his girls in his arms. The late nights changing diapers and rocking sleepy babies to sleep. Superhero. The times he’s taught his girls to ride bikes and play ball. Superhero. The birthdays he went all out for and games and events he never missed. Superhero. All the times he lights up a room and makes that whole room cry from laughter. Superhero. The times he’s walked neighborhood dogs home, held doors for people , and returned other people’s grocery carts. Superhero. The time he pursued to take the oath when others turned the other way. The time he broke his ankle and returned the next day to finish what he started. Superhero. All the times he’s been the listening ear for family and friends. The times that he’s honored his wedding vows. The times he has cheered me on too. The times he’s followed God and brought his family to church when it’s easier to stay home. Superhero. There will be more to come. More times where he’s the first one on the scene. The one called on people’s worst days. The one having hard conversations. The one providing aid and direction.
I can’t tell you what day he actually became a superhero. I don’t think you can really pinpoint it. It’s more of a gradual transformation. A daily way of being. I just know he already was one when I met him. And now he has the badge.