I am sure that many of you have heard the greatest news story of this week already. If you haven’t heard about the New York Police Officer, Larry DePrimo, click this link to the CBS News story. This is definitely a piece of good news in the midst of so much bad news. Stories like these remind us that there is a decent, caring, and compassionate side to humanity.
My question is this: Why is this such a shocking news story to us?
I can currently think of two responses to that question. The first is that we are not accustomed to our national news corporations sharing good news. I feel that the news media is more concerned about sharing news about corruption, wars, politics, crime, disease-causing agents, and anything else negative they can find, then the media is ever concerned about sharing news of kindness, success, cooperation, and generally positive events. You really cannot put all the blame on the media, after all, they are in the business of sharing information that will generate audiences and advertisement revenue. So they provide what the general television audiences seem to respond to which is indicated by their watching of shows and programs.
The second reason that the story of Officer DePrimo is so shocking to us is that it does not seem to fit normal behavior patterns of individuals, and especially our images of the behaviors of New York Police Officers. I wonder how many other humans walked by the homeless man and never gave him a second glance. I wonder how many places the man had gone seeking help but was turned away. In most of these cases, I am sure that it was not out of malice that people walked by or the man was turned away. I think that first we have become too accustomed to seeing people like this man, we no longer take notice of these individuals. I think also that since there are so many limited resources available to help others, some people are turned away because of lack of funds and not a lack of desire to help.
As a believer in Christ, there are so many elements of this good news story that speaks to me. First of all, I am reminded of the shocking news the angels brought regarding the incarnation of God in Jesus. This news shocked all who heard it and continues to shock people today. Second, I am reminded of the importance of never becoming numb to the pain and need that surround us. Only by looking at each person with the eyes of their Creator, can I see the person for who they are and what they need. Third, I need to always be mindful of ways that I can reach out to others, even at times requiring self-sacrifice on my part.
I hope that we hear more shocking good news. I hope that we will always be open to respond like Officer DePrimo responded on that night in New York City. I hope that we will share good news with all who will listen.