The calm amidst the storm
COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
In last week’s column, Angela Kaquitts shared her experience of silence as she paused along the shore of Lac des Arcs. “The silence calmed my restless soul,” she said. This has prompted some inspiring responses from other readers, such as former Cochranite Jim Amsing.
Jim is a retired police officer and chaplain whose writings have long been an inspiration to many. He is well acquainted with the stormier parts of his profession that keep grabbing the headlines lately – and in particular, the use of excessive, and too often fatal, force.
“Being calm under pressure and stress is helped by an inner spirituality that won’t use any more force than is necessary for a situation,” he says. “Compassion and empathy allow officers to find better solutions.
“The problem is that sometimes officers lose sight of the correct response because of personal and professional stressors. One of the big contributing factors is constant exposure to toxic trauma. When there is a healthy way to cope with fear, anxiety, stress and physical, mental and spiritual anguish, then you have officers making good decisions most of the time.”
So, how does one grow in this inner spirituality?
In his own life, Jim found a spiritual starting point in Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God” – wisdom found in the context of God being “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (See my Nov. 7, 2019 column on his book, Spirituality: Inner Armor, and go to his website, www.innerarmor.ca.)
“When I was working as a police officer, this stillness in God allowed me to hear His voice to save my life and the lives of others in many deadly-force encounters. Ultimately, it led to my vocation as a police chaplain.”
In that spirit, Jim responded to last week’s column as follows:
THANKS, JIM, for this reminder.
© 2021 Warren Harbeck