Smiling, she softly answered, “Oh! Thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you. And Merry Christmas to you, too.”
That was the last time I saw her that night. As she was scheduled to go home at the wee ours of the morning as soon as she got done passing her medications to the inmates. She was just helping the shortage they had from the PM shift that day.
Until….that day I became anxious somewhat when I found out that I needed to float to another facility where I had not worked in a long time. I remembered a few responsibilities. But some slowly slipped away as I wasn’t scheduled there most of the time.
Feeling a little better after your prayers were lifted up [thank you friends and awesome intercessors!], my heart was anticipating a night of unexpected busyness, of emergencies that might occur at any time, of arresting officers who would get upset with me when I couldn’t admit the arrestees they would bring into this facility with a major medical or mental issue, knowing that it was mainly for Federal inmates.
My worried look was sensed by the PM nurse I was relieving. She was upset, too as she was ordered to float when she was already working at the main facility, when the scheduled nurse had called in sick. She didn’t know the facility well. I did, except it was just a matter of remembering things. Not a few. Lots.
“Hi” a soft greeting cut through our conversation. I turned to where the upbeat voice came from to see who that one was. It was B! The LVN I just met and had given a small gift!
“Oh, hi B!” I exclaimed. “I’m so grateful you’re here. But when I called the charge nurse prior to coming here, she told me you’re leaving early though.”
“Not anymore!” she quickly replied. “It’s you working tonight and I’d rather stay here with you if you need help!” she added.
I called the charge nurse. And because she knew that I was always flexible and always tried to be productive, she granted the LVN’s request to add few more hours even though it would be overtime. This financial mess also affected the county’s budget. So they are always careful to grant overtime hours. It wasn’t only 1 or 2 hours. It was until the morning, 6:30 a.m. to be exact. Which meant I had somebody working with me, until the day shift LVN arrived! Glory to God!
My anxiety was fully gone by now as I uttered a silent “thank You” in my mind. The night was quiet except for occasional interruption from their small Intake as I screened arrestees. I refused 2 but the officers never got upset. They accepted my decisions without any complaints. Not typical for tired officers wanting their arrestees to be booked right away so they could leave sooner.
The day shift nurse arrived on time. 6:30a.m. Because it was different there. They would start early so they could leave early. Everything was prepared for her. We were happy to see each other because we worked for a while before and both of us got hired the same time, 9 years ago.
“Go!” she commanded. “You’re done! Go home and rest now. Thank you for filling in,” she stated.
“Are you sure?” I replied.
“Yes! Go home! You always do extra here and that is enough,” she said smiling.
I accepted the offer. The heavy metal door popped open. It felt so great to be able to get done with my work, thinking it would be a nightmare. That was wrong for me to do! The cold air hit against my face. But I felt a certain warmth around me. A loving protection that had surrounded me all night long.
I started the car’s engine as I caught myself praying: “Thank You Lord. Forgive me for not trusting completely in You. I magnified my worries, instead of magnifying You. I thank You for answering my prayers. I thank You for all of my precious friends and prayer intercessors You placed in my life. Their friendship has been a great blessing, Lord. But I ask that You bless them back. Because of their prayers, I became strong. Because of their love, I remained unafraid. Because of their intercession, You came in the midst of us! And that’s what made it all possible…Because You are our Shield! Our Refuge! Thank You Lord for reminding me to trust in You 100% this night. I love You Lord!”
I hit the freeway, enjoying the gray skies. But in the nearby horizon, a few rays of the sun was peeking through. How easily I had forgotten… That we have this Light that is inside of us, no matter what time of day, no matter what the season…The Light that reminds us to stay strong despite the raging storms we face. The Light that makes us joyful no matter what circumstances we are surrounded with. The Light that is hungry to be reflected to those living in dark places. The Light that guides when we are lost. The Light that doesn’t end…He is here…Inside in each of His children…In our midst when we gather together. He is here…
Whenever I see sunbeams coming through clouds, it always looks to me like God shining himself down onto us. The thing about sunbeams is they're always there even though we can't always see them. Same with God. ~Adeline Cullen Ray
Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to God for a faith lift. ~Author Unknown
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].