Have It To The Full

He turned his head again, with a smirky smile on his face. As if trying to tell me that “he got me!” But I continued to walk down that corridor, unfazed. I was about to start my shift. I was about to go to my work with a joyful heart, no matter what would come my way throughout the night…

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 swiped my entry card and the electric-controlled gate swung open as I moved forward and found a great parking spot closer to the smaller gates where staff go in and out. Turning off my engine, I talked to the Lord, as I always do every night before going inside the detention facility. “Lord, I don’t know what will happen tonight. But You do. If it’s not too much to ask of You, may we have a quiet night? Lord, I ask for Your protection, for You to be my Shield. Please control my mouth and my tongue and my heart, that whatever I think or say will be pleasing to You. Lord, guide me with Your divine wisdom and give me the discernment, to do everything for Your glory! Use me as Your instrument in helping those who are still lost to find Your love and grace, through me. I thank You Lord for the peace and joy that You give me, despite me going into that dark place, I have nothing to be afraid of, knowing You are there with me.”

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!”
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 himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT 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].