“Heartwarming” seems to be the most frequently used word to describe the image of Officer Lawrence DePrimo kneeling by an unidentified barefoot man he bought boots for on a cold night in Times Square. The tourist photo that has gone viral, is the best kind of public relations for the New York Police Department: the honest-to-goodness, man-to-man, on-the-streets, beat kind. An illustration of New York’s Finest being just that. But what’s the real takeaway? It’s not enough that we feel good that we still have upstanding young men around.
It’s not enough that our faith in others is renewed or restored. Are we asking: When was the last time I bought a guy boots? Not that we all have to max out at Sketchers. But do I see the man in front of me? Particularly when it might be inconvenient to?
And I keep coming back to the recent admonition from Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia: “‘If we don’t love the poor, and do all we can to improve their lot, we’re going to go to Hell.” That’s Bible talk. That’s toward living the Gospels.
That photo of Office DePrimo should make inspire us to be more like Peter and Andrew, who saw Christ and followed.