First Impressions



“Don’t be over self-confident with your first impressions of people…” ~ Chinese Proverb

I could sense her fears and anxiety. Kept in secrecy at the deepest chamber in her heart. Doubts popping randomly all through out the night, as she tried to learn a new trade in this chosen profession of Nursing. 

Leaving a different area she thought she loved at first from the hospital, she came to try Correctional Nursing. But just like anywhere else in any workplace, blending in wouldn’t be easy. 

It wasn’t because the job was any harder. Nor the tasks would be impossible to be learned. The problem was…the people. People who had been working there for a long time who forgot they were once a newcomer like new nurses. People who got along so well and unfortunately, subtly, mini-groups had been formed where the same interests and habits merged. Groups that felt threatened when another person or co-worker would come along with a different idea, a different lifestyle, a different belief or might have a different points of view with life, meant it was time to put up barriers and an unseen “You’re not welcome” mat from their words and actions.
 
“I never had a problem with her,” I firmly stated to a Charge Nurse the other night.

She didn’t say anything. I sensed many, perhaps, had more negative things than to see the positive from this new nurse. But I needed to say something after working with this new nurse for a few nights. I never took sides. All I wanted was for them to bring down those barriers and give her a “chance”. 

Acceptance…

Respect…

Understanding…

I knew after being here in the prison for many years, there would always be those great and “not so great” nurses. But the number one problem was never about performing tasks or learning prison things. The number one problem was that people always judged and always go by what they heard and going with others’ FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

I could be a part of that group… But after going through my own trials of getting hurt from the hospital and transferring to work as a Correctional Nurse, as a believer of God, I started seeing His works behind mysterious ways. That I never needed to rely on anyone else but only Him. Despite such unpleasant grapevines and knowing what a “little tongue” could do to burn others, I knew I didn’t need to be a part of such hurtful acts.

I always want to remind myself wherever I am that it is only by His grace and love that I am able to change my heart and wisely choose Who to follow. Who to listen to. Who to seek for life’s advices. I always want to remind myself that His first impression of my old nature never blames, never shames, never rejects and never hates. And even as a new creature, His faithful loves continues to mold and shape me to what He wants me to be... All the cutting, all the pruning, He always does with love and grace...

“Don’t worry about what you hear nor from what you see,” I gave my only advice to that new nurse.

I didn’t need to hear her “Thank you.” She doesn’t owe me anything. I know she just needed that chance of showing what she has and can deliver. To turn their “bad first impression on her” to good. Without conforming to their ways but by simply being herself. A good nurse who’s willing to learn the trade and be able to use her skills to help out others just like how those nurses and myself do it.

I know she needs to find her place… Because I believe God is strategically placing each of His children in every dark place in this world. To reflect His light… To make a difference…


Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – John 7:24 (ESV)
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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