Ahh...my good old day of being a Police Officer. Car chases, fights, foot pursuits, lots of interesting stories, oh yes! (lest I forget) FREE coffee and doughnuts, and something that COPS call → toys (Guns, Tasers, bulletproof vest, Rifles, Police Cruisers, OC and CS gas, and etc). However, there are moments that every current or former Police Officers are not looking forward to. Such as meeting someone you’ve arrested when you are off duty, don’t have a weapon, and/or are no longer a Police Officer, as myself. I’ve gotten a chance to live through this stomach turning experience just a few days ago.
Events leading up to the one mentioned above are quite simple. On Sunday, while driving back from our South California vacation, Tanya asked me to stop by the car-wash. While under the influence of procrastination, I promised her I'd wash the car as soon as I got home, after the evening church service. And … you guessed it, I got held-up talking with teens and arrived home at nearly 11pm. I was faced with a difficult task; fail to do what I promised to my wife, which is a BIG NO-NO (married guys know) or wash the car in the chilly cold weather. Ding! Ding! Ding! As tempting as it was not to, washing the car was a no-brainer of a choice. After asking my friend to tag along off I went.
I stopped by one of those uninhabited, very isolated, and unattractive Car-Wash places hoping for two things, #1 they take Visa #2 that I don't get mugged. I parked my car in the washing stall and proceeded to payment machine. Needless to say, they didn't take Visa and only took quarters, which I didn’t have. While verbally describing to the payment machine how disappointed I was, I heard a female voice out of the darkness, saying, ...Taras?
Being startled, I must have turned as fast as a ninja. I turned and faced a lady who stood about 30 feet away from me and replied to her, yes… She asked, “do you remember me?” To which I said, no. Then, a very tall and muscular figure came out of the darkness of the car-wash. As the tall male figure approached me he said, “What’s up Taras? Remember me?” As soon as he said those words, I immediately recognized him as a known Russian drug dealer in Sacramento, who had a heroin addiction himself. I’ve encountered him twice while on patrol and I’ve arrested him for selling heroin. He was one of the first and few who started the nasty Oxycontin and Heroin epidemic in our city.
Needless to say, It felt as if my heart sank to my feet, my stomach turned, and … let’s just say I didn’t want to be there. My first thought was to call for my friend, who was around the corner, in the car, and had no idea what was going on. However, being a trained professional, I could not back out now. I showed no fear, instead, I took my ninja stance and anticipated a brawl. To my surprise it didn’t come. Instead, he started to thank me for what i’ve done. Yes! I couldn’t believe my ears. He thanked me for arresting him. He then started to tell me how his life has been transformed, how he finished court appointed anti-drug classes, how he got his life back together, quit drug abuse, and found a good paying job. He then took out just enough quarters, actually one dollar over, and as a sign of his Thank You, paid for my car-wash and went away.
First off, I was thrilled about getting Tanya’s car washed, FOR FREE, given the fact that I got the money I needed from a person I would never expect. However, thinking back on what took place, I got a few things for myself. NO ONE and NOTHING in your life is a coincidence, especially if they come in the form of a struggle or a hardship. The scripture says, “We know that in ALL things God works for the GOOD of those who LOVE him, who have been CALLED according to His “PURPOSE.” (Romans 8:28). In other words God says, it’s “ALL” “GOOD”. Those very struggles you are going against now, as I was going against this drug-dealer in my Police Officer days, are simply made to be a blessing later down the road. However, lets face it, the past negative experiences, especially those cause by people, are hard to face. But there is a way out and its called “LOVE”, our love for Jesus will alway lead us to our “CALLING” and “PURPOSE”. Our love for Him, is the driving force that pushes us through every struggle, even if it means facing our enemies.
- Taras Chernyy AKA Mr. Crumbs