Sheriff Meek, Part 2
I drove my moped to the edge of Sheriff Meek’s yard, and he asked again, “Where have you been?” Even though I did not have the language for it, I felt deep down that I had betrayed my beloved sheriff, the one for whom I had deep respect. I looked at him through the darkness of the night. The full moon illuminated his face well enough for me to see the pain in his face. I told Sheriff Meek everything. I told him about the meeting and about the Deputy Sheriff. And, in my own teenage way, I told him that outsider could not be trusted.
Bunny Meek never said a word. He did not ask any questions. He did not offer any responses. As I think about it now, it makes me think of Jesus, who, when accused, never said “a mumblin’ word” (from the African spiritual).
The silence of Bunny Meek was so loud I could not stand it. I told Bunny I had to get home. In the days to come, I expected Sheriff Meek to terminate Deputy Sheriff Leon, but he never did. In fact, it wasn’t long and Deputy Leon ran off with a married woman to another part of the United States and to my knowledge, never was in law enforcement again. It wasn’t long before all of those people at the secret meeting, my mother included, felt manipulated, duped, and stupid for falling pray to someone as phony as a three dollar bill.
The Wisdom from Wibaux
Over the years, I have thought a lot about this experience. The Wisdom from Wibaux out of this incident is best summarized by the words of Maya Angelou, the great poet, who said, “When people show you who they are, believe them!” The way Jesus said it is, “You will know them by their fruit.”
As I shared last week, Sheriff Meek continued to faithfully serve for 25 plus years beyond the short lived dynasty of Deputy Leon. The Wisdom from Wibaux is that Sheriff Meek lived, whether he could articulate it or not, with a quiet confidence. Being faithful is being faithful even when you don’t “feel” like it and it seems that everything and everyone is going to hell in a hand basket. I will always treasure the life and legacy of Sheriff Arleigh “Bunny” Meek, faithful servant. Through his leadership, he taught me to keep on keeping on, no matter what.
–Rev. Jeff Gannon