"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." - (Psalms 127:3-5 ESV)
Inmate: “Awww…..It hurts!”
Me: “Sir, I haven’t even touched your shoulder yet. Honestly speaking, I can’t do anything for your pain. The doctor just saw you yesterday and had already given you something for pain.”
Inmate: “Motrin? Generic? Those are not gonna’ work!”
Me: “Did you use street drugs outside?”
Inmate: “No!!! What are you trying to say? I’m a Christian!!!”
Me: “[feeling a lump in my throat, no words wanted to come out…], I’m not trying to say anything. I’m asking you something specific regarding your medical background. I’m not sure why you answered me with your faith. You’re a Christian? [a mocking sound wanted to come out of my judgmental nature]”
Inmate: “Yes! That’s why I love my wife. And my child. I give them a kiss and a hug.”
Me: [No comment. The lump in my throat becoming bigger and harder to swallow, let alone fight my old, sinful nature. Of wanting to say something bad to him! Of wanting to curse! Of wanting to make his other arm hurt!”
You see, this inmate was put behind bars because he touted a fake firearm to the cops. So, he was chicken winged [when officers twist their arms behind them to prevent them from fighting back]. Ever since, he was complaining of severe pain on his left shoulder. The doctor already treated him, appropriate x-rays and medications were already given. But he remained complaining of “excruciating” [his own terms] pain on that upper extremity.
I have patience when I see manipulative inmates. Or those who try to milk the system. I sense their motives. I try to be slow to anger. Except, this time, upon checking his charges, I saw that he molested a 3-year old and a 14-year old also. I told my co-workers, I had to remain professional. But deep inside, I knew God wanted me to still grant him mercy and not be judgmental of his crimes. I silently prayed before his footsteps walked in, into the Infirmary’s metal door, escorted by their unit deputy.
He fixed the white sling as I told him to keep his left arm in a neutral position to lessen the pain. I advised for him to be patient as I would put him again on the doctor’s sick call this morning [Saturday].
Inmate: “Thank you.” He uttered with a smile. But I couldn’t look him straight into his eyes. I wasn’t afraid. I was wondering how many scared pairs of eyes ever looked into his and were begging for him to stop his abuse. He got up and started walking away from me as I didn’t acknowledge his thanks. With the least strength emanating from my throat, I managed to reply, “Sir, being a Christian means following Christ! It’s more than kissing or hugging your wife and child. It’s doing what Jesus wants you to do. And that is to do the right thing.”
I turned my back and went to the monitor where I was working and added him on the sick call list. I knew that encounter with predators like him, was not my first nor would it be the last. I softly uttered, “Lord, enough pain for these precious children of yours. I know You love them. No more tears for them. No more hurt. Stop their tears.”
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." - (Matthew 18:10 ESV)
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].