Inspired: 5/15/2013 08:47:00 PM
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. – Romans 13:1-3 (NIV)
I felt someone rubbed my arms softly as I felt her presence and opened my eyes as I waited for the numbing medicine to start working on the spot where our family dentist hit with precision… I knew her even before our previous dentist had left. She had been working in that facility for many years.
“Are you okay?” she asked as she smiled and her blue eyes looked directly as I turned my head to where she was.
“You look like…”
“Like what?” I quickly asked with concern upon hearing her statement that sounded like it wasn’t going to end nice.
“Ahhh…Not really…At least, not at this time…except for the anticipated procedure…” I replied.
She was that kind of dental assistant who always smiled at everyone who walked in, into those individual, little rooms as the empty chairs invited every person who needed a procedure or just to have their regular dental evaluation done. She had known me for all those years my family and I had been going. I tried not to miss each 6th month visit. Despite, I had one cavity needing to be fixed this morning.
My mind didn’t stop there after what she said…
“It’s probably me…been working nights for many, many years. So, some nights, even when I’m off, I’m up…”
“Maybe…Where do you work?”
“In the prison…”
“Ohhh…I didn’t know that…” And with her mouth slightly agape, another question came out without hesitation.
“Sooo….do you support the ‘death penalty’?”
I wasn’t sure what to say at first. I was caught off guard as I tried to talk with a growing numbness on the left side of my face. Trying to read her face, I couldn’t sense if she was for it or against it with what she just asked me.
“Ahhh…” I started carefully, not meaning to offend her point of view, but then, only to realize, I had to state my own:
“I’ve dealt with very evil men in there and yes, I support it if there is solid evidence that someone has really done such horrendous crimes one’s guilty for.”
I wasn’t sure if it was the “Jodi Arias’ case” widely-televised lately since the trial started that I noticed many people had been conversing about death penalties. Like at work. My co-workers asking many questions, too.
She didn’t say anything but nodded her head. As if to agree with what I uttered. But not allowing me to truly know what was brewing in her heart.
I could be wrong. I could be right. She could be right. She could be wrong.
The only thing that was right…no matter…was that God has the highest standard than any human being. It would be wrong to say that He wanted “death penalty” all the time for He had shown grace and mercy in some cases. Nor “He wouldn’t want it for those who deserved it” for He had shown His wrath somehow in some other cases.
Yes…as believers, we shouldn’t rejoice to hear a person was granted a “death penalty” yet at the same time, we could respect the authority’s decision against those who committed such the worst of the evil acts or crimes…
What’s your take on this?
Inspired: 5/11/2013 07:18:00 PM
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." - Romans 8:15 (NIV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. - 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. - Deuteronomy 7:8 (NIV)
It was sad to see…Many names of prisoners who were just released. Yet…they came back to the prison. Unable to live a life outside the prison walls. Unable to function and be useful. Coupled with their habitual use of illegal substances, most of them returned in no time. Unable to get out of those things that trapped their bodies and souls.
He was thin. A lot taller than I was. As I called his name from the waiting area, he eagerly opened the metal door and closed as I had ordered. Only to stay there as I couldn’t let him in further when the group of Inmate workers were cleaning the Clinic’s floor and making it shine. The smell of chemical reaching my already congested sinuses. He was treated at the hospital prior to my arrival at work. For abdominal pain. The source sort of vague. But with the aid of narcotics, he came back in a better spirit.
“When can I get my Morphine and MS Contin?” he asked.
“I have to put you for the doctor’s sick call, Sir. Because nurses can’t give you those not unless they write the order first.”
“That’s against the law,” he quickly fired back.
“If I don’t get my meds,” he tried to sound rationally.
“Did I say anything that you are not going to get them?”
He got silent. Digesting what he just said and what answer I gave back. He thought he was going to be smarter than me. Trying to intimidate and instill fear that if I didn’t succumb to his demands, law suit could be filed. The deputy was nearby. Observing and just letting me dealt with him. The deputy and I both knew…he was not the only one with behaviors like that. Quick to demand for their rights. Forgetting the fact that they were the ones who violated some laws that brought them in this dark place.
He thanked me and apologized instead. He stopped telling me what to do for what he wanted. He knew he couldn’t get away with those wishes. Because it was just fair, depending upon their needs, if justified, would in fact be given. No special treatments for anyone…
Life would be better outside, he knew that. Than to stay in the prison. But with his addiction and perhaps, lack of financial resources to feed the habit, he preferred to be behind bars. He was the one afraid of trying to escape from this trap that had consumed him for many years. Just like what the others did. They didn’t want to try. To live that life of freedom. To change their harmful lifestyles…Harmful traps…
There are so many things of this world that can trap us, as believers, if we are not careful. We always have that choice to live our lives free or not. But even more liberating is to put our hope in Jesus’ wonderful and true promises…An eternal life….Not in this world…But in His Kingdom…
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? – John 14:2 (NIV)
And people will come from all over the world--from east and west, north and south--to take their places in the Kingdom of God. – Luke 13:29 (NLT)
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