A South Carolina police officer’s candid Facebook post about a homeless woman has been going viral for all the right reasons.
Deputy Martha Ruth Lohnes recently published a raw commentary about “Priscilla,” a woman with mental illness who sits in a rotting chair under a local bridge each day. The post also covered Lohnes’ impressive devotion to policing, as she wrote that she has “never felt closer to Jesus” than when she puts on her uniform and serves “those who just need to be loved on.”
In her post, Lohnes explained that, despite Priscilla’s unpredictable comments toward her (she had to repeatedly ask her not to call her “the B word” when they first met), the two formed a relationship and she started to check in with her twice a week.
“I check on her regularly because she has an infection on her foot. The flesh is rotting away, it seeps liquid, and the bugs are constantly inside of it,” Lohnes wrote. “She refuses to go to the hospital although I have called an ambulance for her several times. I have begged her to let me take her to the hospital but she’s so stubborn and I can’t force her.”
The officer recently brought Priscilla bactine spray in an effort to try and help her clean the foot; she also brought her some food. Lohnes said the woman was so scared that the cleansing spray would hurt that she was in tears, so she sprayed it for her.
And that’s when the post took a touching turn. Lohnes continued:
But as I was kneeling there cleaning her foot…I couldn’t help but think of the song “who will be Jesus to her”. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world is against my blue family. We are hated and wished to be dead. We are called racist murderers, robots, and pigs. Yet, out of the public’s eye…..we get on our knees in the dirt to show love by washing the feet of those others would reject. Moments like these are the reason I am so passionate about what I do. I have never felt closer to Jesus than when I don my uniform and serve those who just need to be loved on. God put me on this earth to be a police officer. And though we are despised and rejected, my heart remains at peace because I know I’m doing God’s work. As is every man and woman I proudly serve beside. This is the side of police work you don’t see. This is our every day shift. Don’t forget that we are human, and we are called to serve as well as protect.
In an update to the original post, Lohnes said she later learned that local EMS workers from Charleston County have also been checking on Priscilla every day for the past month — something she didn’t know when she wrote her original post.
And the officer wanted to be sure that those individuals received due credit after her initial post gained steam and went viral.
“They provide her with more medical care and attention than I am able to. They also feed and clothe her,” Lohnes wrote. “I don’t know exactly who responds to her, but they are the ones who deserve the recognition. They are the real representations of Jesus and should be thanked a hundred times more than I.”
It’s a pretty touching post, to say the least.
(H/T: Love What Matters)