Crossroads

“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.
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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