“Here If You Need Me” – A Book Review

I just finished Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup.

It is the story of a Chaplain for the Maine State Warden Service (game wardens) and how she came to enter the ministry, specifically a law enforcement chaplaincy ministry. For obvious reasons, Ann my book consultant and owner of Excelsior Bay Books in downtown Excelsior MN, suggested the read and I was not disappointed.

There are many stories of law enforcement chaplain experiences and a lot of insights into faith in the profession. I highly recommend the book to all readers, but especially to those in law enforcement, search and rescue and specifically those of us pursuing chaplaincy ministries. I expect I’ll make reference to the book in the future as it has some great insights. I’d like to share a short passage that I found very enjoyable

On June 12, 2004 I was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister. My first official act was to pray for the game wardens and other law enforcement officers present.

I was sorely tempted to offer prayers for a guarantee of safety. What prayer springs to mind when I hear one of them on the radio, headed off to something that sounds a little scary? Oh God, please protect him. Oh God, please keep her safe.

On the other hand, if safety were a police officer’s top priority, she would doubtless have chosen another profession. To be truly safe would require that she set aside her own calling, terminate her own loving service to God and neighbor.

So I could not ask God to protect their bodies-though please, guys, do your best to protect your own won’t you?

“Join me as you will….” I said.

“May you be granted capable and amusing comrades, observant witnesses, and gentle homecomings.

“May you be granted respite from what you must know of human evil, and refuge from what you must know of human pain.

“May God defend the goodness in your hearts.

“May God defend the sweetness in your souls…”

Good stuff, I’ll be using it more in the future.