“Not a bad night at all”, I told my other co-worker who was also getting ready to leave in 20 minutes.
Then, the morning charge nurse got a call from a unit. They were sending a man bleeding on his face from shaving. She requested me and the other co-worker if we didn’t mind seeing the expected inmate.
“Not at all,” I responded with a willing heart. There were two of us and we both work great together as a team, so I knew this would be a “piece of cake”.
A young male approached the partition window towards the Clinic. He was holding a regular white towel with smears of blood on some spots. He seemed to be putting pressure on his face as I observed him.
When my co-worker and I motioned for him to go inside the exam room so we could examine him closely, we both were surprised when he let go of the towel. He had three huge lacerations on his face and started oozing blood from those sites. Two were horizontally etched on the right side of the chin and a longer gash on the left side of the cheek. I looked into his eyes as the other nurse started taking his blood pressure.
“Sir, tell me now! You were attacked by someone. These are not from shaving!,” I calmly uttered.
“What? I told you, I’ve been shaving and I accidentally cut myself,” as he slightly raised his tone of voice as if annoyed that I didn’t believe him.
I just kept looking into his eyes and remained silent. He sealed his mouth, too. As more blood oozed, both of us were into that “staring” kind of game.
Momentarily, I stepped out and consulted the day charge nurse because I already knew that this man was attacked. We needed to get deputies involved because if later on that this inmate would want to file a charge against his attacker, photos were needed to be taken and a thorough investigation conducted by the custody staff in his unit.
I walked back to where the inmate was sitting. I had doubts with him saying that he cut his face while shaving. But doing so, I only wanted to know the truth so that I could protect him, too by not sending him back to the same unit where the attacker was.
“Will you give me candies after treating me, nurse?” he jokingly asked me.
I just stared again through his eyes and his stares that once fought with mine was now clearly losing. He slowly bowed his head amid my silence.
As I was cleaning the wounds, still not saying anything, the deputy came. The inmate looked at me and looked at the deputy. A minute later, the deputy asked me if I could leave them alone.
“Of course,” I happily responded. I knew that this inmate wanted to tell the deputy the truth now and that was all I wanted to happen. He still couldn’t look me in the eye and his stare was that of an embarassed kind.
I gave the report to the day charge nurse. I took the clear plastic purse with me and waited for my co-worker to get hers. As we were about to step out of the Clinic’s door, the inmate was sitting on one of the chairs nearby, waiting for the deputies from his unit.
“Ma’am, how did you know?”, he softly asked.
“Sir, I’ve been here so long I don’t even need to ask you. We just know…” I answered.
“Thank you,” he calmly replied.
“No! Thank you! I just wanted the truth from you that would eventually save yourself from getting hurt again,” I smiled as my co-worker and I left everything in that place and took our steps heading out the door and be able to breathe some fresh air outside and get refreshed on our days off. We knew that this wouldn’t be the first nor the last case to happen. But what a relief to know that we were able to help him out and discern the lies from what truly happened.
Remember “Doubting Thomas”? Though he doubted Jesus was resurrected, he deserved to be respected for his faith. He was a doubter but he had a purpose - he wanted to know the truth. Doubting was his way of responding, not his way of life.
We can also doubt without having to live a doubting life. It encourages rethinking. Doubt can be used to ask a question, get an answer and push for a decision. It was never meant to be a permanent condition.
We can all be encouraged by Thomas whenever we experience doubt. He didn’t stay in his doubt but allowed Jesus to bring him to belief.
“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see My hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’ ‘My Lord, my God!’ Thomas exclaimed”. [John 20: 27, 28].
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].