Different Journeys

"See!" a young female inmate uttered through the thick glass. "Look! I didn't even pee that much!"

"That's okay," I reassured. "Remember what you told me when you first walked in?"

"I just went pee in my unit."

"Okay...That's why I'm not concerned," I added as I dipped a piece of paper strip that would check her urine for any abnormalities.

"Everything is normal," I blurted out my findings.

Her face marred with a few skin irritations on her forehead, some blemished spots on both sides of her mouth, and her total appearance that made her way older than her real age of just being 19, continued to think about other symptoms to make me give her some pain meds she was craving for.

"Let me be honest with you," I said, interrupting her busy thoughts.

"It is the drugs that are making you feel sick now. You and I both know that you don't have kidney stones. You want the pain medications because your body is going through a withdrawal right now..."

"Why don't you go through that door!" a loud pop was heard as I twisted a black dial that electronically opened a specific door. As I took her vital signs and everything came back normal, I offered some medications to help calm down her upset stomach and relieve her other physical pain.

"You're young," I initiated a conversation as her head bowed low having admitted her heavy use of drugs for many years.

"You're 19?"

"Yes, Ma'am..."

"When did you start using heroin and other drugs?"

"Since I was 13," her head bent down again as if embarrassed with her answer.

"I'm sorry...Usually, I don't say anything. But because you are suffering from severe withdrawal now, if you allow me to speak, may I say try to clean up before you don't even see another year?"

Her look was not surprised. She nodded and agreed.

"But it's hard. You can't do it on your own," I advised.

"There are lots of agencies out there and if you don't have any resources, you may also go to the county hospital and ask for the help that you need..."

"That is....if you value your life..."

She got up and thanked me. I saw her nodding slightly as if I sensed her determination to change and her acceptance that she knew she was in a deep pit and that she needed help.

As the heavy, metal door slammed behind her after I gave her yellow pass to go back to her unit, I felt sadness for her. I sensed her sincere gratitude with the advice I had given but I knew that no matter how helpful and maybe that was the only comforting word she heard that day, I still wouldn't be able to help her with the kind of help she needed.

Her journey is different from mine. It is impossible for me to be walking beside her. It would be impossible for me to walk the way she walks because we started from different directions and are walking on different roads. But despite that fact, we both need guidance with our footsteps. We both need the only One Who can remove any bumps on the roads that hinder us from knowing the only and true direction that our valuable lives need to walk on. The narrow road that leads to hope, a future and an eternal life.

The truth is even if our starting point differs, we will all have the same destiny. We will all reach the end of the road. But the manner of walking depends on us, the manner of choosing which road to go depend on us. In reality, we all need His guidance because there are so many distractions along the way. Some that leads to destruction.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way." - Matthew 7:13 (NLT)

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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