The River

"That's it? Nothing wrong with me even if I'm having this chest pain?" queried the middle-aged male inmate in front of me, as he started taking off the EKG leads glued to his arms and hairy chest.

"Everything was normal with your blood pressure and pulse and the doctor had read your EKG. She couldn't find anything that is alarming. However, she wanted me to give you some pain medications to make you more comfortable," I replied as I motioned for him to get out of the exam room.

"You claimed you were coughing for the last 3 days though and though you don't have sore throat or congested sinus, drink a lot of water anyway," I advised.

He denied injury nor any problem with his heart and overall health. New to the prison environment, anxiety usually sets in with these housed inmates. Worried about the outcome of their crimes when they go to court, the chest gets tight and breathing air in and out seems to be hard.

"Thank you anyway, Ma'am," he stated softly, as I handed him a pack of white pills to help his pain subside or be gone.

"Sir, I want you to know, you can come back here anytime by putting a request or letting your deputy know, if anything gets worse, okay?" I explained.

"Thank you..."he uttered again as he got up and exited from the Clinic, out into the long hallways that would take him back to his tiny cell.

I could have told him straight to his face that he was just wasting my time, after everything turned out to be normal. After all, I glanced at my watch and it was the end of my shift. I couldn't stay any longer to do overtime. I was tired. I wanted to go home.
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But there are so many around us who needs compassion. The kind that Jesus had shown. I am not compassionate. But I was changed by His love that I learned how to be compassionate. I bathed in His river of mercy and grace once. And I have been carrying that river in me. You, too, if you have accepted His forgiveness. But just like how a river must be flowing, we can't contain that and not share it with others. We hold the gates in our hearts to let the river either flow or be contained. To let the river flow fast or slow. To let the river touch another person or not.

I am not compassionate. But I am choosing to be compassionate because of what He did to me. The mighty River had cleansed me. The mighty River quenched those parched areas of my life and continues to satiate my thirsts. The mighty River poured His love unto my heart. The mighty River is behind me.



"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
-John 7:38

"You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate." - Luke 6:36 [NLT]

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7,8

11 comments:

  1. Compassion is a choice as is us showing mercy and forgiveness to those who wrong us whether they ask for it or not.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Amen, amen!

    It is so clear that you have made the heart choice to allow Jesus to live in and through you. You can love the unlovely, the hurting, the tired, the lonely because you have His Holy Spirit within you. He provides you with the compassion, the patience and yes the love too. If only more Christians would yield fully to His leading.

    You are such a blessing! May the Lord continue to use you.

    blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  3. Compassion is a choice and I'm glad Jesus has given this to me to feel for others. There is so much pain in this world, you never know when a compassionate word may be a life saver.

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  4. This just says it all for me...."I am not compassionate. But I am choosing to be compassionate because of what He did to me." It's just so true. Compassion can be felt of course, but it is a choice to demonstrate it. To treat others as we have been treated by Him is what it is all about. Soo glad you posted this. Have a wonderful day. HUGS, Debbie

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  5. I never underestimate the choices you have to make on a daily basis working in a prison. My girlfriend (from Life Group) is a prison counselor and I get just a glimpse sometimes of the negativity you face. So when you say you put on compassion or anything of Jesus, I believe you. The most gracious, kindest person could not do this kind of work without the miracle of salvation. I love you, Rosel, and pray that God blesses your every smile and word in this most important ministry of such a dark place.

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  6. You are such a strong and beautiful person. Your words are a gift from God.

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  7. How like the Lord, over time, to take what we "aren't", and mold us into what "He is"!

    I've never struggled with compassion, but I've sure wrestled with patience (or the lack thereof)! Thus it just blows me away whenever I find patience residing within. It could only be Him!

    How precious to see His fingerprints all over you, girl!

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  8. it's strange....but I posted about compassion making a difference. that's what did it for me....and I'm so grateful for His love....and kindness that really did make a difference. Take gentle care Rosel

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  9. His river of mercy and grace, oh that is where I want to be forever and always. May the world see God's river of mercy and grace in Christ and my I be a messenger for my Lord.

    ReplyDelete

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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