The Safety Cell

I found myself taking my steps toward the Intake part of the prison last Saturday night. The Intake Nurse had called in sick so I was there to fill in for her. I had not worked there in a long time. But I didn’t mind as it was a nice break from doing paper works from the Infirmary side.

After getting my report from the PM shift nurse, I proceeded to check the inmates in Suicide Watch cells. There were a few of them gathered in one cell, donned with grayish robes, Velcro-strapped on shoulders, to keep them warm. One was separated because of his unusual behavior. He kept pacing in that tiny cell, but was calm.

The safety cells were also occupied. These were the cells in nearest proximity to the Intake Nurse’s tiny clinic because whoever was placed there needed a closer monitoring as they were more dangerous than the ones just professing their desires to hurt themselves. The ones in the safety cells had actually done something like kick the windows or doors hard with any parts of their bodies, usually their fists or heads, cut their wrists or arms and other bizarre things.

As I partially opened the tiny metal window and turned the light inside the cell brighter, a face was pressed already, so close against the glass window with a flat affect. It gave me a creepy feeling. His breathing causing the window to fog up a little bit. His naked body not minding the cold, bare cell. He was placed there the day before when he started kicking the Suicide Watch’s windows really hard, with both of his fists, and sometimes, his head. Fortunately, he didn’t sustain any lacerations nor contusions.

I offered water to which he accepted. Opening the tiny, horizontal window in the middle of that metal door, I slipped in a small plastic cup with water, which he immediately took in one big gulp, three times. I reassured him to just try to be patient and sleep until the Psychiatrist showed up that morning to talk with him. There was no response. His face remained emotion-less. He slowly sat down on the floor. But remained calm for me.

I tried to check up on him as often as I could, in between my screening of newly-arrived arrestees on both the male and female side. Not including the radio calls I had to attend to and the telephone calls that took some of my time if officers from other jails had questions.

I turned up the light switch on the wall and opened the metal window. His eyes were right there against the glass window. This time, he started banging on the metal door. Loud. Strong. Louder. Stronger.

“Stop banging on the door!” I commanded to him.

“Give me my meds! Give me my meds!” he responded with a child-like kind of whiny voice.

“I’m sorry Mr. T. But it’s not time yet. It’s way too early. It’s only 4 o’clock in the morning and we can’t give it to you for another 4 or 5 hours,” I softly answered, hoping that his banging on the door would cease. I didn’t want him to be placed on the safety chair. To be strapped. To prevent himself from inflicting injuries to himself.

“No! Give me my meds!” this time he demanded more.

“No!.. If you don’t stop banging on the door, I have no choice but to place you on that safety chair and I don’t want you to go there as much as possible,” I uttered with a firm voice.

The banging stopped as one deputy hovered nearby. Pressing his face again against the glass window, he said, “You sound like my mom! Stop playing games with me. Stop playing jokes with me!”

“I’m not playing any games nor jokes with you. I’m here to help you. I’m telling you about the rule here. And you know that because you were there yesterday when you kept banging the glass window. I thought you wanted to get out of this cell? If you do, then, you must stop hurting yourself. Don’t bang the door or the window! Just be patient and wait for the doctor…”

His cold, penetrating stare followed my every move. But I met those stares with mine and I was sure not to back down. Because I wasn’t playing games and I wanted him to know that. If my gaze wouldn’t meet his, that would mean, I was not sincere. Either that, I would appear as if I was afraid of him, which I was not.

I wanted him to get well. I didn’t want him to be strapped on the safety chair if it could be prevented. Because it wasn’t fun to have that kind of restrictions. Even worse, he would be given a big dose of a combo of calming meds. To lessen his agitation. I didn’t want him to be so drowsy that by the time the psychiatrist would come, he wouldn’t be able to speak with him and voice out his concerns.

The naked body retreated away from the window. His head bowed low. Slowly, he sat down on the floor and then, laid down. He stopped banging the big metal door. But he requested two things:

“Open the window a little bit so I can see...and leave the light on,” he softly stated.

“Of course,” I reassured.







 
And my mind wandered as I sat down inside the clinic…And took me to those times when I was in that cell before…As I struggled with my own faith when I went through a trial or a suffering. Or when I relied on material things instead of on God, the Physician. Or when I would wait for answers to come and the waiting seemed forever.

Bearing too much pain, and nowhere to go to, I resorted to trusting Him despite my doubts and even if I didn’t understand.

But somehow, I met Him somewhere, sometime by His grace through faith. And the doubts I had, even if real, led me back to a greater faith in Christ, the Physician, as seasons came and went.

I found out much later, that this faith that saves did not come from any philosophical arguments…It is His gift.

For there was no other place for me to go to…but to cast myself into His mercy. And knowing at that time that as I waited and trusted in Jesus…that would be the only way that I could be set free.

And so for everyone else in every safety cells…feeling hopeless, wanting medications to numb their pain. There is nothing else you can do but to believe and wait and trust…For these are matters of faith.

Open the windows of your heart and let the Light flood in...Just believe...And wait for the only one Physician Who gives the deliverance.







20 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this sis, I am so grateful for my true physician.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm always encouraged and blessed when I come here.

    I remember the "voices" that swirled in my head,crying out to God to heal me and He did!

    In His Grace,
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rosel,

    I am forever and eternally grateful for God's light and that as long as I continue to seek Him above all else, He will always leave the light on, to light my way and keep me on the path!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I found out much later, that this faith that saves did not come from any philosophical arguments…It is His gift."

    this was my favorite part to this story Rosel! I just loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am always amazed at the myriad analogies possible to becoming a prisoner due to sin and crime.

    But we, as a society, tend to prefer "lock 'em up forever" to mercy. Even Christians hold this position---thinking of their safety, I guess, instead of freeing captives.
    Mercy is a good balance.

    That requires rehabilitation over punishment.
    Christians outside the prison walls, but inside the walls of sin, get mercy in the form of Grace.

    Today, I read of an anonymous donation to a prison in Oregon. It seems that the Anonymous donor believes society benefits when the prisoners spend their time getting a college degree.

    It is a wonderful story; a gift of mercy from an unknown person, to the least among us.

    Here is where I read it:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/12/anonymous_donor_helps_pay_bill.html

    Or, go to Oregon Live (Portland's newspaper) and read "Anonymous Donor Helps Pay Bill For College for Prisoners"

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ Keystone: Thanks for that link. I pray that the secret investor's kindness with those inmates wanting to go to college, would make these prisoners help out others in return when they become successful. Knowing that someone believed in them. Just like how God believes in us and wants us all to be free. I can see God's love working in the hearts of those men because of this kind investor. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you sisters Denise, Tammy, Kat, and Christy for your encouragement. God bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rosel you are an incredible blessing. I love the way you connect it all together. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so grateful for God's gift of faith; without Him I really would be and have nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rosel,

    It never ceases to amaze me how you can interact with these prisoners. The boldness in Love, and the stern but kind way you talk or treat them is only GOD in you. You inspire me with your stories and I am ever so grateful for the gift of Salvation to be forgiven and all my sins washed away. The Holy Spirit leads you each and every shift and I continue to pray over you my friend! I love you so very much

    ReplyDelete
  11. His grace - the best thing that ever happened to me too - and it is a gift. Like you RCube, He is my strength, my hope, my reason for living. His grace in my life totally changed me when nothing else could....from the inside out. I think you're the absolute best REcube (Rosella). You have become a friend, a sister in Him...b/c of grace. I am forever grateful. Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for passing by sisters Edie, Tracy, Loren and Sarah. Hope all is well with you sister Loren. Grateful here also sister Sarah, to be in a circle of friendship He created. To God be the glory!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Rosel,
    You are an amazingly strong woman and I know where your strength comes from - Our Lord and Savior - Jesus! Thank you for this wonderful story of your workday/night.
    Thanks for stopping by and saying "hi!"

    ~Jean

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rcubes, this post is very precious. The warmth and promise of it. Thank you for sharing dear one. Blessings...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for your encouragement sisters Jean and JBR! God bless and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rosel, I wanted to thank you so much for your comment today. I can't tell you how it blessed me. "First they go against the currents." This was great encouragement. Those currents are in the very body of water where the Big Wave is to be found. Your analogy is profound!

    Much love!

    I love your new look for Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm inspired by Him this morning as I worship Him with the songs He gave me sister Edie. No need to thank me...Let's thank Him instead!!! Thank you for letting me know that my comment blessed you. Because your return visit blessed me more :) God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi My Sweet Sister,

    You continue to astound me with your personal experiences at work, your special insight and warm and caring heart that is all led by Him. I was truly touched as I read word for word through this posting and the way you handle your every day life at work. God is all around you and works through you to such a degree that all of us, including the people that you deal with daily in your job...we stop, listen intently to you and can only feel calm and refreshed no matter what we are going through and it's all because of Him, His Word. You are a precious sister and friend and I thank God every day for you and others like you who live, work and breathe Him in through their every day journey in life.

    I love you so much dear one and pray for you always. You are such a blessing to me.

    {{{Big, Big Hugs}}}
    Alleluiabelle

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would have been scared to death! You have so much strength and courage....and love. To put this inmate before your own self is the God kind of love. I think I would have been tempted to just put him in the chair, without giving any thought to what that would result in for him. God bless you, sis! You are amazing...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like it. The last paragraph is beautifully said. Also, i noticed you changed your template. Neat!

    love,
    ~Silver

    ReplyDelete

"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


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].

Friends