At the risk of sounding conceited, I'm going to say it anyway--I have a really hard job. This week I spent 20 hours listening to people's problems. As 911 operators we are taught to let it roll off you. Someone starts yelling at you because the police didn't respond the first time they whined about the noise next door? Let it go. Someone starts ranting about how terrible you are at your job? Let it go. Someone starts getting impatient because you ask them to repeat things? Let it go. Your officer asks you for the third time to repeat that plate? Let it go. Your officer gets frustrated because you aren't fast enough? Let it go. Your officer isn't paying attention to his radio? Let it go.
This week I hit a point with a couple calls where I couldn't let it go. I can still hear her voice ringing in my ears. The sound of her desperately trying to keep it together for her small child while the horror of what just happened starts creeping in. The panic turning to tears. "I'm going to burn these clothes."
I have to believe the world is a beautiful place, because I know it's full of dirty, broken things. I have first hand knowledge of what human beings can do to each other. I also know that the world is beautiful because of its creator. People are imperfect, rotten, and evil. Jesus loves people so much that he made an incredible sacrifice. God made the flowers. He made the blue sky and the beach. He made pristine snow and puppies to romp through it. He makes beautiful things out of dust. He takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful.
Some people call it optimism, others say "oh don't worry, with time you'll become cynical like us." I have to believe the world is a beautiful place because I don't WANT to be like them. I want to always care about how that CPR in progress call ended. I want my heart to always hurt when someone goes to jail. I love what I do. It really has to be a field you're called into, not just a job. Friends and family will never know how it drains you, how you can differentiate between types of crying over the phone. You tell them the funny stories because those are the ones you want to remember.
I believe the world is a beautiful place. Because I have to.