Here is a story of compassion that is so needed at this time as we support our police force to think differently about how they relate to their fellow citizens. Imagine if it was your job to arrest people. How would you relate to the people you’re arresting? What does it mean to treat those who are being arrested with compassion?
A few weeks ago I was witness to an uncanny event that helped shed light on these questions. While attending a meeting focused on the Safe Communities program, I met Pastor Ray Rogers from Rose Prayer Christian Ministries and Harry Bailey, a senior policy adviser to the Mayor of Seattle.
At some point in the meeting, Pastor Rogers realized that Harry, who was sitting across from him, was the man he’d wanted to see for over 20 years. It turns out that, as a youth, Ray Rogers sold narcotics to Harry Bailey, then working as an undercover cop. Harry, fulfilling his duty as an officer, arrested Ray.
But instead of an arrest that might have left Ray as a young man shamed or angry, something profoundly different happened between the two men that day. As Ray explains it, Harry Bailey treated Ray with dignity and said six words that left such a lasting impression on him, that it helped turn his whole life around. Watch the video to hear the whole story and find out what those six words were. Find out why Ray says today with such conviction that “there’s a reason why everything happens in our life.”
Pastor Ray Rogers tells his story publicly at a rally organized by Standing in the Gap Seattle last Saturday with Harry Bailey in attendance. Watch the short video of Pastor Ray sharing his story and challenging us to get off the “couch of do nothing” and to come out and make a difference. When I called Harry to get his permission to share this video he told me that he was hopeful that other police officers would see the video and see the difference that they can make in a young person’s life.
Leave your comments below and tell us what you think about Ray’s story. What can you do to “get off the couch” as Ray suggests? Tell us what compassionate action you’re committed to do today to make a difference in someone’s life.
Do you have a story of compassion to share? We want others to know about the goodness and kindness that exists here in our community. Click here to learn how you can submit your story to the Compassion Games.