I have been working nights for 19 years now. By God’s grace, when I sustained a painful neck injury from the hospital I used to work with, He brought me to a correctional facility, right when I was at the lowest point of my life.
To make a long story short, God did open this door of even a better and bigger opportunity. As soon as I started working in a detention facility, my neck pain had subsided. I didn’t need to lift patients. I didn’t have to deal with heavy Orthopedic kind of appliances like tractions, CPM’s [Continuous Passive Movement machine that exercises those newly-replaced knee joints], and others.
I’m not trying to say that the task is easier. It is not. Here, it’s a different kind of challenge to our Nursing abilities to assess, intervene and immediately treat illnesses or emergencies with the best option that is available.
I opened the side door, grabbed my transparent bag that housed my little notes, stethoscopes and other things I use for work. With the other hand, I grabbed the see-through plastic bag that contained my sandwich, bottled water and a piece of fruit. I prefer to bring my food from home though we can order any food we want from our ODR [Officer Dining Room].
Swiping my card at every entry points, I reached “North Control” at the bottom part of this facility. It would be just a few steps away from my destination, the facility’s Clinic. I glanced at my watch. It was 11:25 p.m. I got 5 minutes to go before I was about to start my shift. My feet started rushing toward the door that led to the Infirmary.
About 2 feet away, that was when an inmate worker [dressed up in blues], came out of the door. Most of the time, if any inmate would come out, they patiently would wait for me or other staff and would hold the door open for us to go through. Not this particular inmate. He saw me, swung the metal door wide open so that he could let it close with a loud bang [if not on my face, at least, near my face!]. Bam! And it did! He saw me approaching with a couple of bags, one on each of my hand. It was obvious, I didn’t have an extra hand to open that heavy door.
That was when he looked, perhaps to see the kind of reaction his behavior would illicit from me, with that wide smirk, even without my eyeglasses, I would have seen from a distance. He was just so full of it! Full of whatever intentions he had to make me become angry, unhappy, intimidated or be afraid.
“Good night, “ I gently uttered as I smiled and acknowledged his presence. The smile on his face went away. He was dumbfounded. He didn’t expect that. I felt he wanted an angry kind of response. He stopped looking behind him [where I was]. He turned his head to its normal position, bowed his head, and his steps that were heavy as if intentionally done to cause an uproar became softer, softer as he headed down to the unit where he was housed. He never dared look behind him again. I didn’t hear the steps anymore and that body disappeared when the unit let him in.
He didn’t get me, but it is God’s love through me that got him! I might not know what he would still be thinking when he laid down on his bunk in his cell. I was not sure if a simple act of kindness thrown at his rudeness would make him think of what he just did. But one thing was for sure, he was not able to take my “joy” away. He was not able to intimidate me. He was not able to ruin my night!
The door from Infirmary swung open, too and my co-worker had popped it open upon seeing me by the door. I walked in, still with this unexplainable joy despite of what I had just experienced coming from a rude human being. No! My heart is too happy to notice those little annoyances. My heart will always rejoice, despite knowing that I’m working in a dark place where there are too many souls in need of the Light.
“Our unseen enemies are always lurking too, to seek, kill and destroy God’s children’s purpose for the Lord, their happiness, their joy. But no! They won’t succeed. For our God came here to give us lives and have it to the full!” "To the full" and don’t you Christian brothers and sisters forget that! God’s love and other blessings poured into our hearts until it overflows!!! “WE HAVE IT TO THE FULL!”