• Today's Daily Devotion
His Hands Are So Cold!
IT IS RARELY good news when your phone rings in the middle of the night (1:45 Sunday morning). That’s especially true when you’re a police chaplain. Since I ...


Chaplain Don Hipple

Virginia Beach, VA, Police Department

IT IS RARELY good news when your phone rings in the middle of the night (1:45 Sunday morning). That’s especially true when you’re a police chaplain. Since I lived near the crash scene, 9-1-1 asked me to go. At the scene I saw a small car crushed against a tree. Two high school youngsters—friends and on the baseball team—were trying to beat curfew. Instead, the alcohol they had consumed and one’s erratic driving had brought them to that tree—one killed and the other seriously injured. They were only two blocks from home!

As I have done on similar occasions, another officer and I went to the dead youth’s home. Responding to our knock, “Joey’s” father came to the door: “Is Joey in trouble; out past curfew?”


After making sure he was Joey’s father, it was my sad responsibility to say, “I’m very sorry, but your son was killed in an auto accident earlier this morning.” The devastated father got the boy’s mother out of bed, and there was a time of great grief, disbelief, anger, and other emotions.

Around 4 a.m. I drove the parents to the morgue to make the identification. The walk down that hall at the trauma center seemed endless. Finally we were at their son’s dead body; another grim scene. I thought my heart would break when his mother remarked, “His hands are so cold.”

The sun was coming up on a beautiful Sunday morning as I returned the parents to their home—a sunrise they saw through tears, and one their son never would see. Family members had arrived, and preliminary funeral planning had begun. With their support team in place, I left about 8:30 a.m. When I returned later in the afternoon, members of the baseball team— greatly shaken—were there with other school friends and neighbors. The initial shock was over, but the sadness had just begun. I believe it is the same with parents everywhere: Our children are supposed to bury us, not we bury them. We can get over the loss of parents who die at an advanced age, but the death of a child in the prime of life stays with us forever.

I wish I would never have to go through this again but, as a police chaplain, I will. As long as there are cars, exuberant youth, and the distractions of life, it will happen again—somewhere, sometime, somehow.

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