Returning from the county hospital after being admitted for a day, the female inmate gave me her yellow wrist band marked “Prego” [pregnant], as I gathered my instruments to take her vital signs.
“I don’t need this anymore, right?” she asked.
“You’re right! And just to let you know, your prenatal vitamins would be discontinued also and your bedtime snacks.”
The day before, she had continued bleeding. It was her 6th pregnancy I gathered. She told me that she had previous complications, too from her past pregnancies. She had 3 alive children and the rest, she ended up having miscarriages, including this last one.
Speaking calmly, she didn’t appear to be in distress. She answered appropriately with all of my queries pertaining to her health.
“How are you? Tell me, what are you thinking now about this loss. I’m so sorry this happened.”
“No. I’m okay Ma’am. I’m okay with it since I always had problem sometimes from the past,” she replied, her gaze meeting mine. Her penetrating cold stare that seemed to evade any empathy from my part.
“Okay, I just want to let you know that if much later on, you feel like you need to vent out, help is available. So, just put a sick call request from your unit, “I advised.
“Thank you Ma’am. May I go back to my unit now?”
“Of course! I know you must be tired. Just keep drinking lots of water, too as long as you can tolerate that,” I added.
After handling out her yellow pass so she could go back to her housing, her shadow slowly disappeared from the hallway of the clinic’s female side. No other inmates would know what she had just gone through, just by merely looking at her.
She might not have accepted my offer of help. But that was okay, too. Because deep in my heart, I know that our strengths were given to us to help us serve. God is the One rejoicing when we change our “How can I help myself?” attitude to “How can I help others?”
And that strength is for service, not for status. No matter who is in front of us, true service is helping them out without any bias and without seeking for praises or even recognition.
The right attitude when serving others arise from loving God first. When our motive is to love God and please no other, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving others.
There’s a big difference when we look at our workplaces as just “a job” versus an area where “we can have that opportunity to faithfully serve God and man.”
“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” -Colossians 3:23,24
“You are the light of the world---like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” - Matthew 5:14-16
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me to your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” -Matthew 25:35,36
Then, these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?” -Matthew 25:37-39
And the King will tell them, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.” -Matthew 25:40
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].