The Lord is my shepherd.
I will always have everything I need.
2 He gives me green pastures to lie in.
He leads me by calm pools of water.
3 He restores my strength.
He leads me on right paths to show that he is good.
4 Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave,
I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me.
Your rod and staff comfort me.
5 You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies.
You welcomed me as an honored guest.
My cup is full and spilling over.
6 Your goodness and mercy will be with me all my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house a long, long time. ~ Psalm 23 (ERV)
I saw his reflection on one of the squares of the long window glasses that drew someone's eyes to the wonderful view of trees and hills nearby. His left hand with a plastic cup moved up and down in a rhythmic fashion, maybe nervously rubbing against his left thigh. I didn't know him. I just happened to be in the lobby at the same time. Waiting for my friend and her loved one in the Wound Clinic they visited each Thursday. Since when....I didn't remember. He was calm on the phone. I assumed he was talking to a close family member. "They couldn't save my leg anymore," he uttered. With the silence that enveloped us in that roomy lobby, I didn't have any choice but overheard his statements. "I'm in a bad shape. Just wanna let u know, I need to be admitted in the hospital now...,"he continued.
I adjusted my glasses falling from my nose. I looked up and saw the blue, clearest skies I'd ever seen. A clean slate from one end of the horizon to the other that served as the background for the tall trees with its branches dancing with the warm,humid winds. That was when I saw his reflection on my right side. He was calm upon being told about his condition. Maybe he wasn't afraid...Then again...what if he was? His wry smile masking the possible fear brewing in his heart.
I haven't been working. Consider it a break for me for working as a nurse. At times, I felt this was my early retirement after working as a night owl for 25 years. But I have been a Christian who wouldn't retire from what my Father leads me to do...In my heart I felt His leading. To pray for the man in denim pants and blue plaid polo shirt who was about to lose one of his legs. Quietly, I felt my lips moved for words I didn't know just flowed. Praying for this man to first be drawn into His grace and mercy. Then, to overcome...
In many days that pass by, I often pray for the Lord for what He wants me to do at this point of my life. I can't complain to the blessing of being a mother and a wife who is given time to take care of my family's needs. But I know, there's always so much more to that. God,sometimes calls His children to step out of their comfort zones in order for them to reflect His light to those who are still in darkness. To pray for anyone even if I don't know them and feel they have the need to be prayed for, so the least I can do.
"I have traveled a lot," his voice echoing down the hallway that leads to the Emergency Room as the hospital was just next door. "Ohhh..." answered the nursing student learning the ropes, as she pushed the wheelchair where the man was sitting. He remained calm and in a positive mood, despite the brewing storm he was about to face. The voice was long gone. There I was still looking at the horizon and glanced at the window glass where his reflection was before. Maybe his heart had already weathered many storms and was calmed by God's hands many times. That he knew Who to trust in times like that.
If only I could find out... I would agree thousands of times. Because God also calmed my mind and heart many times. He saved me from many troubles. He reminded me that whatever I would lose or already lost, there was no limit to what He could give. And in the manner of losing something or even someone dear to my heart, my doubtful, worrisome mind and heart are being driven to rush to the calling of His forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
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].