“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” ~ Woody Allen
I glanced at the monitor in front of me, my eyes glued to the female inmate’s age: “26”.
“So young,” I whispered to myself. “How can she have chest pains if she doesn’t have any history?”
I heard the female side's metal door opened. The female deputy escorting this young inmate, with her wrists handcuffed to her back, as her keys dangled from her pant's pockets. Taking little steps, the young, long-haired woman kept looking on the floor and couldn’t maintain a good eye contact. I immediately took her vital signs as I kept probing on possible causes why she would have chest pains. Motioning her to the exam room #1, two of us made her lay down on the exam table and put the EKG leads. She wasn’t talking as much. Embarrassed and could not imagine she was in the jail.
“Listen,” I softly approached her as the last EKG lead was placed in one of her legs, “tell me now if you’re using drugs. Or I can’t help you. You have your choice to remain quiet about everything. But that would limit me from doing the best care we could possibly give you.”
Stuttering and with a tone of shyness, she started giving her history. That 3 days ago, she was driving her car with her boyfriend. When suddenly, flashes of bright lights shone behind them that came from a cop’s car. In a crucial, frightening seconds, they started fighting as to how they could get rid of a small bag of methamphetamines on board. She already had a previous arrest and was on parole. Her boyfriend: 1st time to be caught if arrested. He made her swallow that bag. To get rid of evidence. Despite her protest. She ended up being brought to the hospital. But after her treatment, this time, she was booked in the jail.
“Sorry. I never told you. I’ve been using meth, on and off, for 10 years now,” a bead of tear crept up in one corner of her eyes. "I also had an abortion, 3 weeks ago,my third," she added choking in between.
“Thank you,” I looked at her and managed to lock a good eye contact this time. “Now, I know why you’re having chest pains.”
Immediately, I asked for an ambulance so she could be treated at the county’s ER. Transferred to the EMT’s guerney, she bowed her head really low as the escorting deputy put a shackle on her left foot.
“Oh, my gosh! I can’t believe it. This is not happening,” she mumbled. “Will you cover my foot with something, deputy so the shackle can’t be seen?” she requested.
“Yeah, I’ll try to cover it with something. But you know what? You did this to yourself. If you don’t stop now, you are gonna’ die young,” he warned but with intention to remind her to not destroy herself with her bad drug habit.
“I know…I know…” as she tried to wipe the tears that fell. “Thank you, nurse,” she uttered as she was more comfortable looking into my eyes now. The guerney disappeared. I knew I would see her again.
God loves His creation: humans. Created in His image. Out of His love, He already had marked a right path of living way before. But people refuse to take that path. Oftentimes, going their own way instead. All of us face that decision, that crossroad: to choose God’s right way or to follow that path which we think we like. If we choose the latter, we are often misled. There is no peace. There is no contentment. It is only when we choose God’s path that we are able to find rest for our souls. Let us not be ripped off by this world. There is always time to go back to that right path…
“This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.”
- Jeremiah 6:16 [NIV]
Father, this is your post, not mine. I pray that You speak to those who will happen to come by. Imprisoned by drug abuse, alcohol abuse, prostitution, and other self-destructive ways. Lord, I ask for Your intervention in their lives. For them to come to know You first. So their blindness can be removed. And that they will be able to see that path that leads to You. Father, help us. Those Who already know You and tasted Your love. Help us remain strong and not stray away from this path You had marked for us. Help us to not look in other directions but maintain our focus, to be straight...only on Jesus. Thank You Lord for the path You have created for us. The rest that awaits for our weary souls when we finish our journey. But the best of all, is to see You waiting there with Your open arms and to be with You forever. I love You Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.