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David Starsky awoke with an uneasy feeling that morning. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something wasn't quite right. He tried to shrug it off as he got up and took a shower, thinking he was just overly tired. After all, he and Hutch had been working long hours on this case they had just finished up.
Starsky sighed and tried to get the image of what he'd seen out of his head, without much success. This gang of punks had been randomly picking Christian churches and trashing them; a lot of property damage but no one had been hurt so far, until one of the churches they went in to vandalize happened to have the pastor working late in his office. He shuddered to think what they had done to him. They weren't happy just killing him quickly or mercifully, they…he still couldn't believe it…they had tied him, crucifixion-style, to the cross that hung on the wall of the sanctuary in the church and then shot him in his hands and feet, the same as where the nails would have been placed in a real crucifixion and left him there while they trashed the church, then they finished him off with a bullet through his head. Both he and Hutch had been sick when they first saw what had happened to this poor man. They were amazed at the brutality of what those punks had been capable of, but they were almost equally amazed at the reaction of the people of the church. There was, of course, the initial shock and horror when they found out what had happened to their pastor, they had hugged and cried for a long time, but after that they started praying and thanking God. He and Hutch had just stood there, not able to believe that they could thank anyone for what had just happened, let alone a god who LET it happen!
Dave and Ken finished up their investigation at the church mostly in silence, trying to figure out what these people believed that could make them do what they'd done. Starsky had been disgusted and curious all at the same time -- sure, he knew about God, he was Jewish after all -- God's chosen people and all that, but he'd never really given God much thought. He'd taken care of his mom and his brother after his dad had been killed (where was God then!) and now he and Hutch took care of each other -- he had everyone he needed. But there was still that voice in his head saying maybe there was more to this God stuff than he wanted to admit.
He finished showering and got dressed in his usual blue jeans, t-shirt, Adidas and leather jacket and left to pick up Hutch.
Ken Hutchinson also awoke with an uneasy feeling that morning. A feeling he didn't like because he didn't know where it was coming from. It wasn't the same type of feeling he had when he thought Starsk was in danger -- no, this was different altogether. He was pretty sure it had something to do with this latest case they'd just finished up. And although Hutch had decided to give up on God after his beloved grandfather had died -- his grandfather who had taught him about God and shown him God's love up until the time of his sudden death.
Then he'd been told by his father that men (and boys) didn't cry and everything had gone on just like nothing had happened, except that his whole world had been shattered and he had no one to talk to about it -- his parents had been too busy working and planning their social events -- leaving their son, whose heart had just been broken into a million pieces, to fend for himself. So Ken cried into his pillow at night, occasionally trying to talk to God but when it seemed like there was no answer, he'd stuffed God away along with his emotions and moved on with his life. He blinked back the tears as he thought about his grandfather. "What's the matter with you, Hutchinson? It's just another brutal murder in a brutal world, why should you feel any different about this one?" But deep down Hutch knew this was different, these punks had killed a man of God, and at the same time awakened something in him.
Starsky arrived while Hutch was in the shower and as usual came in and made himself at home, getting a Coke out of the fridge where Hutch kept them just for him and plopped down on the couch putting his feet on the coffee table to wait. Hutch came out of the bathroom wearing just a pair of jeans and carrying his t-shirt, boots and socks. They took one look at each other and immediately knew that something was bothering the other one. They'd been through so much together they could almost read each other's minds. They were closer than brothers and the love they had for each other was almost a presence in itself.
"You ok, buddy?" Hutch asked as he dropped into a chair to put his boots on.
Starsky took a long drink of Coke and then looked at Hutch. "You ever had the feelin' that somethin' was gonna happen, but you didn't know what? Kind of an uneasy feelin' that ya can't shake?"
Hutch looked at his friend, his brother, and smiled. "Maybe it was that anchovy pizza you ate last night." Hutch kidded.
Starsky smiled and threw a pillow at Hutch just missing his head. "No, dummy, it's not an anchovy pizza feelin'. This is something I've never experienced before, something I can't even begin to explain and I don't know what to do about it." Starsky's deep blue eyes searched Hutch's almost begging for some kind of reassurance.
"I know, buddy, I'm feeling it too. But I don't know what it is any more than you do." Hutch replied.
They sat there in silence for a few minutes and then Starsky asked; "Hutch, do you believe in God?" Hutch had anticipated that question but it still caught him off guard. He got up and went over to sit on the table across from Starsky, pushing Starsk's feet to the floor, and looked into his partner's deep blue eyes, the eyes of the man who had seen him through more hurt and heartache in his life than anyone else alive and answered; "I used to. My grandfather taught me about God and took me to church when I was a kid, but after he died, that all stopped and I guess I just stopped believing."
Starsky knew how hard it was for Hutch to talk about his grandfather and took great joy in the fact that he was willing to talk about it with him. "How about you, Starsk, you believe in God?"
Starsky leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes. "Not since my dad got killed." He was fighting back the tears and Ken had to do the same as he felt the hurt his friend was feeling. They sat there quietly for the longest time, not speaking, just remembering what it was like to be young and innocent before the world kicked in the door and dragged you out kicking and screaming and threw you to the wolves. The scars on these men were deep and they had been together when most of them had been received -- being together and knowing they could count on each other no matter what was the only thing that kept them going -- or so they thought.
Finally, Hutch got up, hit Starsky on the leg and said, "Come on, partner, it's time to hit the streets." Starsky held out his hand, Hutch pulled him up and they headed out the door.
"'Bout time you two got here!" Dobey bellowed as they walked into the office.
"What's the matter, Cap, you miss us that much?" Starsky teased.
"Of course I missed you, Starsky, there's work to do!" Dobey yelled back. "That preacher's wife called, she wants to talk to both of you today. She's at the church."
Starsky and Hutch looked at each other, then turned and left for the church.
When they got there, the church was bustling with activity. People were cleaning up and repairing the damage that had been done by the creeps that had killed their pastor. Starsky stopped a man who was repairing a door and asked him where he could find the pastor's wife. He was directed to the sanctuary where they'd found her husband. Neither one of the detectives wanted to go back into that room, but they knew they had to. There were a group of people talking, but Starsky recognized the pastor's wife immediately. How could he ever forget the horror stricken look on her face when she'd mistakenly been allowed into the sanctuary before her husband's body had been removed from the cross -- but he also couldn't forget the face of the woman with tears streaming down her cheeks praying and thanking God for what had happened.
"Mrs. Matthews?" Starsky asked as he put his hand on her shoulder. She turned and he gave her one of his 1000-watt smiles, which she returned. Lisa Matthews had a beautiful smile and was in fact a very beautiful woman. She was 32 years old, with the slender, muscular build of a runner, light brown hair, and just a little shorter than Starsky.
"Detective Starsky; Detective Hutchinson. Thank you so much for coming on such short notice." She said as she directed them to her husband's old office. "Please come in and sit down. May I get you anything?"
"Uh, no thank you, ma'am, we're fine." Hutch replied. "How can we help you?"
"Well, to be quite honest with you, I'm not exactly sure. I mean, ever since that morning…" she paused a moment to fight back the tears and then continued, "I just felt like you might have some questions about what happened. It must have seemed very odd that we started singing and praying at a time like that. And I…this must seem very strange to you that I've asked you here, but I've been praying for you since that day and I believe that God is going to do something wonderful in your lives."
Starsky and Hutch exchanged puzzled glances.
"I'm not sure what you mean, Mrs. Matthews." Starsky replied.
"Do either of you believe in God, detective?"
Starsky and Hutch looked at each other somewhat amazed that this conversation seemed to be so much like the one they'd had earlier at Hutch's place.
"Actually, Mrs. Matthews, my partner and I gave up believing in God a long time ago." Hutch replied.
"Or maybe He gave up on us." Starsky said half-jokingly.
Lisa smiled. "Oh no, He never gives up on us, Detective Starsky, but do you mind if I ask why you gave up on Him?"
The detectives looked at each other again, trying to decide if they could share some of their deepest secrets with someone they hardly knew, but they also knew there was something different about this lady, she really cared. "Death took away our belief, Mrs. Matthews. I lost my father and Hutch lost his grandfather when we were kids."
"Oh, yes, death can be emotionally devastating to a child, I'm so sorry." Lisa replied.
"Thank you. Now may I ask you a question?" Hutch asked.
"Why certainly, detective." Please, call me Ken."
"Alright, Ken, what's your question?"
"How is it possible that you can thank a god who let something like this happen to your husband?"
Lisa Matthews paused and then smiled, "That is a very good question, Ken. The Bible says to be cheerful no matter what, pray all the time, and thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants those of us who belong to Jesus to live. Not that that's always an easy thing to do -- when I found out what had happened to Ben it was like having my heart ripped out of my chest. But I can't forget about the promise Jesus made about preparing a place for us so that we could be with Him when we die. It's the only thing that keeps me going is knowing I'll see Ben again someday and that he's no longer in any pain." Lisa broke down and Starsky went over to her and held her while she cried. After a few minutes, she pulled away and wiped away the tears. "Thank you, Detective. I'm so sorry; it still hurts to think about how he died. Ben was such a peace-loving man…"
"Are you alright, Mrs. Matthews, can I get you some water or something?" Starsky asked. Lisa smiled, a warm, incredibly loving smile.
"Actually, I would very much appreciate it if you'd call me Lisa."
"Alright, Lisa, you can call me Dave."
"It's a deal." Lisa replied. Starsky smiled.
"Can I just ask you though how you can be so sure what you believe is true?" Starsky asked. "I mean there's so many different religions and ideas about God and heaven, some don't even believe there is a heaven or a hell. How do you know what to believe?"
"Wow, you guys are asking great questions. Well, first of all I believe because of what Jesus has done in my life. You wouldn't know it now, but I used to be a prostitute and a drug addict before I knew about Jesus."
"I find that a little hard to believe, Lisa." Hutch said.
"I figured you would. I ran away from home when I was 17, my dad had sexually abused me for years and I'd finally had enough. I came to California to be an actress, was here for 3 months and I couldn't find work. I was hungry and discouraged and so finally I turned to the only thing I believed I was good for -- prostitution. After all, when even your dad sees you as nothing but a sex object -- what do you do? The drugs came a few months later; mostly to dull the pain of this awful life I was living. I was a mess. And then one night while I was out on my corner a man came up to me and handed me a rose; he told me that Jesus loved me and asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee. I said sure, thinking it was just some new way to be picked up, but it wasn't. We went to a little coffee shop around the corner and we must have sat and talked half the night. He told me about Jesus and how He died so that I could live -- not the way I was living then, but really live with joy and passion and purpose in my life. I'd never had anyone talk to me that way and not once did he look at me as anything but a human being. Well, to make a long story short, I surrendered my life to Jesus that night and that wonderful man who took me for coffee was Ben. He got me off the streets, off the drugs, married me and we've been living for God ever since."
Starsky and Hutch could do nothing but sit there, they'd never heard anything like this before -- could it be true?
"Guys, many people have tried in the last 2000 years to disprove Jesus and His claims and so far no one has been able to do it. God came down to earth for 33 years, lived a sinless life and was mocked, beaten, and finally crucified for us because we can't pay the price for our sins so Jesus paid the price for us. I am bought with the blood of an innocent man -- Jesus. And He didn't just die for some of us; He died for all of us. But we have to believe and we have to accept as a gift what He did for us 2000 years ago or it won't matter how good a person you think you are. Jesus said, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' This is His free gift to us, the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. That is a Christian's greatest hope in life -- that no matter what happens to us here, we'll spend eternity with Jesus!" Lisa's face was lit up like a Christmas tree.
"So all we have to do is accept this gift and we'll be able to go to heaven when we die?" Starsky asked.
"Yes. The Bible says that 'if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.' You have to believe it in your heart, you have to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and then you can accept His gift."
"But I thought all we had to do was be the best person we could be and even though we make mistakes, God would understand."
"A lot of people think that way, Dave, but the real question is; what does God say you have to do?"
Starsky and Hutch both looked at each other not really knowing what to say or think -- no one had ever told them anything like this before.
"This is probably a lot of information for you guys to try and digest right now, let me get you a Bible to take with you. I recommend you start in the book of John. Just like God showed me all those years ago, He wants to show the two of you how much He loves you." Lisa handed Starsky a Bible and gave him a hug, then she hugged Hutch. "I don't know the two of you very well, but it's obvious to me that you have a great love for each other. But God's love is bigger than anything you two can even imagine -- open up your hearts to Him and let Him show you how much He cares about you and how much He wants to take the pain from your lives so you can be who He created you to be." Lisa smiled at them both, a warm, loving smile that made them know they could trust this beautiful lady. She handed them each a card with her number on it. "Please call me if you have any questions.
"I have a question." Hutch responded.
"How did you know about the pain in our lives?"
"It's in your eyes, Ken, it's in your eyes."
After work, they went to Starsky's place and were trying to make sense of what Lisa had told them. "Ya know, Starsk, I remember learning about Jesus at church on Sundays when I went with my grandfather, but I don't remember the part about Him being the only way into heaven."
Starsky plopped down on the couch and kicked his shoes off. "I was always taught that Jesus was a prophet, but not the Son of God. That's the Jewish side of the story, but now I'm not so sure that's true. I've never met anyone like Lisa. Her story about her past and her confidence that her husband is in heaven is so powerful." Starsky closed his eyes.
"Didn't she say to start in the book of John?"
"What's that one verse that's so famous…John 3 something, isn't it?"
"John 3:16." Hutch replied.
"Find that and read it will ya?"
Hutch opened up the Bible and finally found the book of John. "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"That's the one!" Starsky almost yelled. "I've heard that a few times in my life, but I don't think I ever paid attention to it before -- keep reading."
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives in the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
Hutch stopped reading and looked over at Starsky. "What is it, Starsk?" Starsky looked at Hutch with tears in his eyes. Hutch went over and sat next to Starsky and put his hand on his shoulder. "What is it, buddy?"
"What if this is true, Hutch? If it is and you had died from the heroin, or the plague or the gunshot wound or…" He couldn't continue. Hutch pulled him into a hug and let his tears flow too as he recalled all the times Starsky had almost died. They held each other for a while and then Starsky finally spoke, "Hutch."
"I want whatever it is that Lisa has. I want the confidence that I'll be in heaven and that you'll be right there with me." Starsky paused, "And…I want the pain to go away." They both knew what Starsky meant -- these two men had had enough pain and hurt in their lives for ten people.
"I'll call Lisa in the morning."
Both Starsky and Hutch awoke with a great sense of anticipation and a little trepidation, but Hutch kept his word and called Lisa while Starsky showered and then Starsky called Dobey to tell him they'd be late, while Hutch took his shower.
They arrived at the church at the same time as Lisa and all went in together. Starsky stopped Lisa as they got to the door of the sanctuary. She turned to face him and was taken off guard by the tears in his eyes as he fell to his knees. Lisa got down on her knees and Starsky looked into her eyes. "Is it true? Can Jesus really take away the pain?" Starsky asked barely above a whisper.
Lisa took his shoulders in her hands, "Oh yes, Dave, it's true, it's so very true. Look what he did for me!"
Hutch fell to his knees and put his arm around Starsky. "Lisa, you have no idea the amount of pain we've been through together. How can we be sure he can take it all away?"
"Oh Ken, God is bigger than any hurts we've been through, any pain we've endured. He's so big he's willing to take it on himself so you don't have to carry it anymore."
"Oh Lisa, you don't know how much we need that." Hutch replied.
"Then tell him." Lisa replied. "Tell him that you need him, tell him how sorry you are for your sins and ask his forgiveness, ask him into your life so he can begin to change you and take away the burdens you've been carrying for so long." And they did. All three of them were crying as they finished their prayers to Jesus. "Do you know the angels in heaven are celebrating right now because of what you've just done?" Lisa laughed as she hugged them both.
When Starsky and Hutch finally got to work they were 2 hours late and Captain Dobey was not happy. "Where have you two been all morning, don't you know…." Dobey stopped, looking closely at his two best detectives. "You two, in my office now!" He said as he turned and headed into his office followed by Starsky and Hutch. Starsky started to apologize for being late when Dobey cut him off. "Are you two ok?"
The partners exchanged a puzzled glance. "Whatta ya mean, Cap'n?" Starsky asked.
"Well, I'm not really sure, you just look…different."
"Different?" Hutch asked.
"I don't know how to describe it except…peaceful. Your faces just look peaceful and not so weary."
"Well, actually, Cap'n, something is different -- we went to the church this morning with Lisa Matthews and we turned our lives over to God." Starsky replied.
"Turned your lives over to God? I don't understand."
"We're just trying to tell you, Cap'n that we got saved! It's the most incredible thing I've ever experienced-it's like I've been given a clean slate and a second chance at life. I've never been so happy and so at peace." Starsky explained.
"I've been going to church for years and I've never experienced what you two have gone through -- I'm not sure I even remember our minister talking about being saved by Jesus -- I just thought if you went to church, were a pretty good person, and did your best to obey the Ten Commandments that you'd be ok and on your way to heaven." Dobey replied.
"That's kind of what we thought too, Cap'n, except for the church part and I guess a lot of people think that way, but Lisa told us that it's not about religion and following a bunch of rules, it's about a relationship with Jesus. And that he wants all of us to be in heaven with him, but only those who accept that he is God's son and that he died on the cross for our sins will enter heaven." Starsky explained silently praying that Cap'n Dobey would see the truth.
Dobey sat there for a few minutes thinking about what he'd heard and seeing the obvious change in his two best detectives and the tears started rolling down his face -- he knew what they were saying was true -- even though he wasn't 100% sure how he knew. "What do I have to do?" He choked out through his tears.
Both Starsky and Hutch had to hold back tears as they told the man who'd stood by them for so many years how to ask Jesus into his life.
That night Starsky and Hutch went back to Starsky's apartment, kicked off their shoes and made themselves comfortable on the couch.
"Did you ever think it could be like this?"
"Whatta ya mean?"
"I mean, the peace. Did you ever think you could be so at peace even though outside circumstances haven't changed -- we're still cops, we still deal with the same kind of people -- but, I don't know, I just feel like no matter what happens, everything is going to be ok."
"It's like that with me, too. It's kinda weird, and even though I wish I'd had this at other times in my life, I'm so grateful I have it now." Starsky replied.
Hutch knew exactly what his partner was talking about -- there were so many times that Starsky had been on the brink of death and Hutch had been helpless to do anything about it. But now their fear of death was gone -- there had been times when death had seemed like a good option over the pain and suffering they had dealt with -- the gunshot wounds, the poisoning, the plague, Simon and his cult crazies, and of course, when Starsky had been shot in the parking garage by Gunther's goons -- Hutch knew Starsky had wished for death then, it had hurt so bad. But now they knew that even in those times, God had been watching over them, keeping them alive until they could come to know their Creator.
They still knew they could depend on each other for anything, but they also knew that God was there to pull them through whatever they encountered, no matter what happened. And they knew they would be able to spend eternity together in heaven, which had always been the desire of their hearts, but now they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would happen.
"Come on, partner, we'd better get some sleep if we're gonna catch the bad guys tomorrow." Hutch said. "I'll take the couch, just wake me in time to run home and change."
"You got it." Starsky replied heading for his bedroom.
The next day found Starsky and Hutch experiencing an unusually quiet day. They'd had a call about a prowler, but when they got to the lady's house -- the prowler had actually turned out to be a lawn gnome and the lady was about 90 years old with bad eyesight. Starsky tried to assure her that it was just a lawn gnome but she insisted it was a real prowler and that they take him away. So they did and the lawn gnome rode with them for the rest of the day. Starsky named him Larry.
Finally their shift was over and they headed over to Huggy's to tell him all about what had happened to them. They got to Huggy's Place (formerly known as The Pits, but renamed after Huggy bought it back last year) about 8:00 and Huggy was waiting for them. "My main men! Finished with your day of crime fighting and rescuing damsels in distress?"
"I hope so, too many more damsels like we had today and our holding tank will be full of lawn gnomes." Starsky replied jokingly.
"Long story, Hug. Our table ready?" Hutch asked.
"Sure is -- back corner. What can I get you two to drink?"
"Coke for me." Starsky replied.
"Water for me." Hutch replied as they headed for the back.
Huggy looked at the two detectives kind of funny and ordered their drinks for them and a beer for himself.
"So what's up with my two favorite superheroes?" Huggy asked as he sat down.
The detectives both smiled at Huggy's colorful descriptions of them and Hutch replied. "Huggy, do you believe in God?"
Huggy sat there for a minute and then started to laugh. "This is a trick question, right?"
"No, Hug, we're totally serious."
Huggy looked at both his good friends and got a troubled look on his face.
"Whatsa matter, Hug?" Starsky asked.
"I don't know, why don't you guys tell me."
"Whatta ya mean?"
"Well, ya all come in here, don't want a beer, ask me about God -- what's goin' on?"
The partners looked at each other, then Hutch spoke. "We got saved, Huggy."
"Saved? Saved from what?"
Hutch smiled and continued, "We got saved by Jesus, Hug."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up the Cadillac here. What are you guys talking about? Did you both get shot in the head and you haven't gone to the hospital yet or what?"
"No Huggy, we've given our lives to God by accepting the salvation that Jesus offers." Hutch replied.
Huggy just sat there looking at them like they were visitors from another planet.
"Huggy, didn't you ever go to church when you were a kid?" Starsky asked.
"Sure I did, my aunt Mildred used to take me, but I never took any of that stuff seriously -- now you guys are telling me that you've all of a sudden got religion?!"
"No, Hug, not religion -- a relationship with Jesus."
"Look, whatever, my man, just keep it outta here before ya start scarin' away my customers."
"Huggy, please listen," Starsky pleaded, "this is important!"
"Look, it may be important to you that you've had some kind of religious experience, but leave me out of it, ok. Now you gonna order or what?"
Ken and Dave were stunned that their dear friend wouldn't even listen to them, but even more amazed that he seemed to be so angry about it.
"I think we'll just head home, Huggy, thanks though." Hutch replied hoping he didn't look as defeated as he felt.
The partners drove back to Starsky's place silently praying for their friend.
The next few days were fairly routine, but the joy they both had was amazing.
"I'm hungry, let's stop and get some lunch."
Hutch rolled his eyes. "Well, it's good to see some things never change." They both laughed as Starsky swung into one of his favorite fast food burrito joints.
The call came in before they even opened their doors. "Zebra 3, Zebra 3, there's a 211 at the liquor store on 11th and Madison. Suspect is armed with a shotgun."
Starsky moaned at the thought of yet another meal missed as Hutch responded to the call, "Zebra 3, we are responding."
Starsky started the car and headed for the liquor store. They were the first ones there, they parked a couple of stores up, got out of the car, drew their guns and headed to the side of the liquor store.
Hutch peeked around the corner into the window, "Looks like just one guy behind the cash register -- definitely a shotgun." Hutch stated.
"You sure that's all?" Starsky asked.
"Looks like." Hutch replied.
"How do ya wanna play it?" Starsk asked.
"I'll take the back. Wait till I get his attention, then head in." Hutch said as he headed around the back of the building saying a silent prayer of protection for both him and his partner.
Starsky was doing the same thing when he heard the blast from the back of the building. "Huuuuuutch!" Starsky yelled as he headed back to see what had happened to Hutch. He stopped at the corner and stuck his head around to make sure the shooter was gone. He didn't see anyone except Hutch lying on the ground with blood pooling underneath him and a huge hole in his abdomen. He ran to his partner's side and fell on the ground next to him. "Hutch! Hutch! Come on, buddy, speak to me!" Hutch turned his head to Starsky with eyes wide, trying to point to something when the second blast came and David Starsky fell face first over his partner's body.
Hutch had the wind knocked out of him and a wave of pain go through him when Starsky fell on him. He must have passed out for a minute and when he came to and opened his eyes, Starsky's head was laying on his chest with his face turned toward him. His eyes were closed and Hutch reached up and brushed a curl off his forehead before losing consciousness again.
The man who had been inside the liquor store came running out when he heard the shots. "What happened!" he hissed as he came out the back door and almost tripped over Starsky and Hutch. "Cops! They caught me off guard -- I had to shoot 'em!"
"You idiot, now we're cop killers! Let's get outta here!"
"Freeze!" Officer Brian Herndon yelled as he came around the back of the building just as the two men were getting ready to run. "Drop your weapons and get on the ground now! Move it!" The two men did as they were told, dropped their shotguns and laid down on the ground. Herndon's partner, Greg Roberts, went over and handcuffed them both and took their guns.
Brian holstered his pistol and ran over to Starsky and Hutch. "Oh no! Greg, get an ambulance here on the double! It's Starsky and Hutch, they've been shot!" Stone knelt down to check for a pulse on the detectives -- Starsky was gone -- but Hutch seemed to be hanging on -- barely.
Brian picked Starsky up off of Hutch and gently laid him next to his partner. "Hutch. Hutch, if you can hear me, it's Brian. The ambulance is on it's way, pal, hang in there." He pleaded with him as the tears rolled down his face for his friends and fellow officers.
"Sta… how's Star…" Hutch couldn't finish the words.
Brian took a deep breath, not knowing what telling Hutch would do to the injured man at this point, but he also couldn't lie to him and give him false hope. "He…he's gone, Hutch."
Hutch wanted to scream out but all he could do was cry silently for his best friend, his partner…his brother. But then a strange thing happened to Hutch while he was lying there wishing this was all just a nightmare that he could wake up from -- a peace came over him, peace that he couldn't understand but he knew immediately where it came from. And then he was sure he heard Jesus say, "It's alright, my son, he's with me now." Hutch's tears went from sorrow to joy and he finally understood how Lisa could rejoice after her husband's death as he silently thanked God for everything He'd done for him and Starsky.
The ambulance finally arrived and the paramedics came around to the back of the building. Brian pointed them to Hutch, telling them that Starsky was already dead. They still checked him anyway just to be sure -- but Brian had been right. The blast from the shotgun has ripped a hole in Starsky's back taking out everything in its path including his heart.
"Poor guy never had a chance." The paramedic said to no one in particular as he turned to help his partner work on Hutch. Hutch wasn't in much better shape but at least the bullets had missed his heart -- his prognosis, however, was not good.
"His heart's stopped!"
"Get me the paddles. Clear." He said as he shocked Hutch.
"Let's go again. Clear." And he shocked Hutch again.
"You got it, he's back with us!"
"Let's get him loaded and to the hospital -- he needs surgery." They loaded Hutch onto the gurney, put him in the ambulance and headed to the hospital -- lights and sirens all the way.
The coroner's wagon got there just as the ambulance was leaving and so did Captain Dobey. He rounded the corner and stopped cold. "Oh no. Not Starsky! Not Starsky!"
Officer Herndon came over and led Captain Dobey to a set of pallets that he could sit on. "I'm sorry about Starsky, Captain."
"What about Hutch?" Dobey asked.
"They're taking him to Mercy General, Cap'n, he's not in very good shape." Brian replied trying to somehow comfort the man he knew to be like a father to the two detectives. "Would you like me to drive you, sir?"
"No thanks, Brian. I'll drive myself when they've taken care of Dave." So much blood, they lost so much blood. How could anyone do this to them?! Dobey thought angrily.
Meanwhile, Hutch had arrived at Mercy General and the ER team was working frantically to stabilize him. His heart had stopped again on the way to the hospital and they'd restarted it, but he was holding on by a thread.
"Come on, big guy, hang in there with us. Don't give up now." Kathy Jones, the ER nurse was saying to Hutch.
"We're losing him." Dr. Jensen said as he grabbed the paddles, "Clear." He shocked Hutch.
"Nothing." Kathy said.
"Again -- clear." He shocked him again.
"Still nothing." Kathy called out. "Come on, baby, come back."
"Clear -- let's go again." Jensen ordered. He shocked Hutch again and they all turned to the monitor -- nothing. Hutch was gone.
A tired and discouraged Dr. Jensen came out of the operating room to find a group of very sad and worried friends. Captain Dobey, Huggy and Lisa Matthews were all there waiting to see how Hutch was doing. "Well, doc?" Dobey asked but already knowing the answer from the look on his face.
"I'm sorry, we did everything we could, there was just too much damage and his heart gave out."
"You mean Hutch is gone too?" Huggy asked incredulously. "But that just can't be! They were both just in my place the other night telling me about God -- is this what happens when you believe in God -- you get gunned down! Is it? Well, is it?!" Huggy yelled to no one in particular as he fell into a chair and wept for his friends. Lisa walked over and sat down next to Huggy, put her arm around his shoulder and wept with him.
"Thanks, doc. I'll make the arrangements for the funeral home to come get his body." Dobey said as he too broke down and wept for Starsky and Hutch.
The funeral was held three days later where friends and family gathered to say goodbye -- Hutch's parents were there, Starsky's mom and his brother Nick, Captain Dobey and his family, Huggy, Sweet Alice, and almost the entire Bay City police department.
Lisa Matthews conducted the funeral service. "I didn't know Ken and Dave for very long -- just a few weeks actually -- we met because they were the detectives assigned to finding my husband's murderers. And while I would give almost anything to have my husband back again, I believe God used my husband's death to bring me together with Ken and Dave so I could tell them about how much God loves them, just like my husband told me many years ago. For those of you who knew Ken and Dave for any length of time, you know that they saw each other through a lot of pain and a lot of hurt which only deepened their amazing bond of friendship and brotherhood. A friendship unlike anything I've ever seen between two people. So the day they came to me and asked me if Jesus could take away the pain in their lives was one of the best days of my life. Because you see, Jesus did take away the pain in their lives that day when they decided to accept His gift of salvation and they became new men -- men who had their sins forgiven and who were assured of their place in heaven. A friend asked the question the other day if getting gunned down is what happens to you when you believe in God. The answer is that God didn't cause this to happen but He already knew it was going to happen. So in His great mercy and love, He made a way for Dave and Ken to come to know Him before this terrible tragedy -- and thankfully they took Him up on His offer." Lisa smiled remembering that wonderful day. "The Bible tells us not to grieve as those who have no hope. So today we come together to celebrate the lives of David Starsky and Kenneth Hutchinson, two of the finest men I've ever met who are finally home with the Lord and with each other."
Hutch opened his eyes -- it was so bright. He tried to remember what had happened; "Oh yeah, the robbery…but…I was…shot." Hutch looked down and saw there was no wound and no pain, then he remembered Starsky. "Starsky?" He called looking around.
"Looking for me, blondie."
Hutch turned and there he was -- his partner, his friend…his brother. "Starsky!" Hutch cried and hugged him with everything that was in him. After a few minutes he pulled away and looked at him, so happy to see him again. "Starsk, are we in…heaven?"
"We are, buddy." Starsky replied as he put his arm around Hutch and they started walking.
"Where are we going?" Hutch asked.
Starsky flashed him one of his amazing grins and replied, "There's someone who's waiting to meet you."
Hutch looked at Starsky, grinned back and said, "You mean…?"
"Yup, the One who made it possible for us to truly be --
Eternally me and thee."
This story is fiction as, of course, are the characters of Starsky and Hutch, however, God is not fiction. He is very much real and is always working to bring everyone to the knowledge of His love and saving grace. I hope you enjoyed this story, but even more than that, I pray that you will begin to search out the God of the Bible for yourself. There is only one God and He loves all of us more than we can even imagine and He wants to spend eternity with us!
If this story changed your life or you have questions about new life in Jesus, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org