The Shakedown

“Ouch…My left shoulder hurts, too,” complained the middle-aged male inmate. Slumped on one of the chairs, with both wrists in a handcuff, on his back, he claimed that he felt dizzy earlier in his unit.

“My rib also hurt. Aren’t you going to call the Sergeant and take pictures of my injuries or something?”, he asked.

“Sir, let me examine your injuries well and let me decide on what I can do best to help you after doing so,” I firmly stated.

“Well, they haven’t even given me my evening meds yet,” as he kept grumbling.
From the look of it, he seemed to have been gotten hurt, though minor, but his injuries seemed they would make him feel sore. There was a minor reddish streak on the area below the rib cage. It was a minor abrasion but there was no ecchymosis [bruising or discoloration]. The area was not swollen nor tender to touch. He grimaced as I touched that area and screamed “Ouch!“

My stethoscope did not pick up any abnormal lung sounds. There was no signs of difficulty breathing. His left shoulder didn’t seem out of alignment. He could move all of his fingers and there was a good capillary refill on all of his fingers. That was great! He seemed to be answering appropriately, despite the claim that he was slammed against the wall.

The deputies were lined up and with protective coverings, started marching toward a particular unit. Armed with pepper sprays and anti-riot gears, they were not visible to the inmates or particular cells they wanted to inspect. It was an unannounced “shakedown” [like raids] in that unit.

Inmates were caught in a big surprise. They were asked to turn and face the walls. One particular inmate did not want to listen and started yelling profanities, so the deputies had no choice but put his body against the wall and kept him there by one or two deputies, as the other continue their search for contrabands [illegally-smuggled goods]. They used metal detectors and hovered them over the mattresses with the aim of finding any metal objects.

In this particular inmate’s cell and mattress, a little thing was forming looking like a “shank” [a makeshift knife]. He seemed to have hoarded tons of apples, too [remember my post about pruno?]. There was also some whitish, powdery material in a small plastic.

The “shakedown” was over in short minutes. The deputies were precise in targeting what they were looking for. The inmates were placed back in their particular cells. Whoever was caught hiding illegal things would have some charges added to their sentence for sure.

This man never stopped complaining after the “shakedown”. He started complaining of feeling dizziness and started blaming the deputies that he got slammed against the wall. That he needed to be treated for his injuries and he wanted a Sergeant to listen to his details in what harm the deputies had done to him. Yet, he never mentioned the illegal substances found in his cell.

He was that man I was seeing as I just started my shift and the whole time, he had thousands of words against one or two statements of mine. But I must not be involved. I told him I could only treat him with medical problems and the issues with the deputies, it was for custody staff to hear.

His argument would not win anything as his injuries resulted from him not listening to authorities. He was in a bigger mess because it was in his cell and in his mattress when the deputies obtained all of those illegal things he was hiding.

“I’ll have the doctor examined you further in the morning. I don’t see any obvious trauma except for one minor abrasion below your rib cage. If you’ll have increasing problems later, you can also put a sick call, “ I calmly instructed him.

He didn’t say a word when he got up. He didn’t know that I was aware of how he sustained those injuries he was claiming. He was focused on pursuing that if there was a possibility of the deputies being in trouble, he would.

How many of us are hiding things in our lives? And when the Deputy comes and does a shakedown in our hearts, we often become argumentative or we have too many excuses instead of accepting our own responsibilities.

We all need to bow down and confess our sins to God. He does an unannounced “shakedowns” in our hearts but that’s for our benefit. He wants us to rely on Him for apart from Him, we can’t do anything. Yes, we are injured... And only God can heal…

Despite being saved, I still need to welcome His shakedowns in my heart and I hope you do, too.

“The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.” -Psalm 51:17."


  1. I'm due for daily shakedowns of the heart. ... I'm always amazed at hearing what inmates can acquire behind prison walls. I'm equally amazed at what those of us on the "outside," (me included) can acquire inside the barred places of our hearts: pride, disobedience, selfishness....

    Yep, I could a shakedown.

    You always, always find a powerful lesson in your everyday life. Thank you for your willingness to share these life lessons!

  2. A shakedown....GOD has to shake us and prune us to get all the "yucky" stuff out. I am forever thankful for HIS mercy and grace.

    This, my friend, is another excellent post. You need to submit ALL these post for other publication. You have quite a gift and much to teach.

    Blessings and prayers, andrea

  3. I read this one, linked over to your earlier article on "pruno", and then read a wikipedia article on pruno. I never cease to be amazed at the "stuff" you guys have to deal with. I'm glad that these inmates have someone like you who cares not only for their physical condition but also for their spiritual. I hope some of them catch the vision of what God can do for them.

  4. I love reading your stories Rosel!

    Thank you for the birthday blessings!


  5. Rosel,

    I think spiritual shakedowns are necessary to bring about the kind of changes God wants us to make in our lives. Sometimes all the use of small things don't bring about the kind of change God wants, so He brings about bigger and bigger things until we are finally shake to the core and we finally see it.

    What a great revelation this post is!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  6. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I love comments. I am in a hurry right now but I will be back to read today's post. Have a good evening.

  7. You always challenge me...the image of a surprise shakedown by God is a powerful one...I pray that I am one willing to stand by and let Him find whatever does not belong in my life, take it away and clean me up again!

  8. We sure can't hide from God. He will not be mocked; our sin will find us out.

    Love to you Rosel!

  9. Your stories always bless me, thank you. I love you.

  10. Sometimes, unannounced spiritual shakedowns can reveal things that we did not even know were there. Great lesson Rosel!

  11. Interesting. I like your conclusion.

  12. A genuine christian is one who continues to confess and repent. His grace.

    The ultimate shakedown will be His return. Are "we" ready?

  13. God the gardener. He will weed out the bad in me.

  14. Wow have an amazing teaching gift! I love how you always connect your lesson in the here and now to the spiritual lessons we all need and would be blessed to allow in our lives!

    May we allow the Lord to shakedown our hearts, our minds, daily so that He can be glorified and we can be sanctified!

    i love you rosel!!!

  15. Wow what a story. I admire your courage to do the job you do.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and picking up the prayer buttons.

    Rich blessings to you!!

  16. Just like the prisoner, we can not hide our sins from God. I am always amazed how God shows me my sins - the ones that I thought I had kept hidden - even from myself. We all have a way of justifying them or blaming them on another source rather than looking inward at our own failings.

    You are so calm in rough situations - I have many questions I would love to ask you. I would love to ask your advice about the path that the Lord has chosen for you and how you find the strength to walk it. I struggle with this so much. My prayer is to do the Lords will through my nursing, but my sinful nature is fearful and weak about the unknown.

    I have an email on my blog if you have the time, drop me a line that way we can correspond personally.

    Thanks in advance - I really DO respect and admire your strength following the hard path that the Lord has set for you. I have a feeling that I, too am being called towards a path that will be difficult and need to learn how to put my personal failing/feelings aside to so HIS will - NOT mine!


"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


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].