The Past Is A Part of Today and Tomorrow's Actions

There were 20 something bodies that morning to be seen by me for sick call. I learned to prioritize by doing the treatments first [like blood pressure checks and dressing changes] to have them out of the way. Then, the sick call I could call one by one and usually would run smoothly.

The clinic’s door was narrow. A few steps away was a desk, telephone, and other medical equipments. The nearby sink was crowded with jars full of gauzes, tongue blades, band-aids, cotton balls, bottles of saline and hand soap.

When I did all the treatments, I called the first inmate who requested a sick call. I noticed he only spoke Spanish so I needed an interpreter. Even before I asked if someone would volunteer to interpret, a young male inmate worker stepped up and eagerly offered his help. The deputy was just nearby.

One thing I learned working in this setting was to never turn my back on the inmates. Even if it seemed that I had my back turned, my eyes would be busy revolving around me and my ears would be fully opened to always be alert on what was going on.

I motioned for the sick inmate to sit on the chair next to my desk. The interpreter positioned himself by the sink which was fine with me because I wanted to give the other inmate some privacy, too and I didn’t want both of them to crowd my clinic. [That was also for my own safety].

I knew the volunteer. He was a good, hard working inmate. I would see him help serve the food trays and clean up after they were served. He put things in order.

He was leaning by the ledge of the sink the whole time I was doing sick call. When I got done seeing the sick inmate, the volunteer started to head out the door, too.

“Sir, I didn’t ask you to leave yet,” I politely told the interpreter.

“I thought you’re done seeing him, Ma’am?” he replied.

“Yes, I was. I want to thank you for interpreting for us. I want you to know I really appreciated that. Except with you stealing some of my band-aids!”

“Whoa!,” he exclaimed, as his jaw seemed to have dropped on the ground.

“What? I didn’t steal anything!” he protested. [By this time, the deputy was standing by the door, too].

“You didn’t? Are you sure? Because now, I would like you to turn around and show the deputy the left back pocket of your pants”, I calmly requested. I saw him got a little nervous as a few beads of sweats formed on his forehead.

Sure enough, approximately 10 band-aid dressings were brought up by the digits of his left hand. He was so embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. His face turned red.

“Do you want me to put him on discipline, Nurse?,” asked the deputy [for stealing and lying].

“No. Will you just let me speak with him, please?” I told the deputy. [He took a few steps away to give us some privacy].

“Sir, I’m not here to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. But you know the rules here. All you have to do is try to ask me if you can have some of those band-aids. I’m sure I wouldn’t mind giving you a few as a token of my appreciation for helping me with that inmate.”

“Ma’am, how did you know I did that? I’m so sorry. Thank you so much for not putting me on discipline,” his face with a relieved expression.

“I wouldn’t tell you how I knew. But I know you as a hard worker here. Don’t change that. You may go now,” I uttered.

“Ma’am, you’re good!” he replied softly. “Thank you again. I won’t do that again.” His body disappeared with the rest of the bodies for sick calls.

That inmate was a hard worker, always helpful to custody and Nursing staff. But his actions were totally different that day and was the opposite of the character I had known him for.

As Christians, our past is an important part of today’s actions and tomorrow’s plans. The past affects our decisions and actions today. In turn, also affects the future.

There are lessons to learn and mistakes that need not be repeated. Yesterday’s obedience to God does not remove the possibility of present disobedience.

How are you using your success from the past now and how well are you using it to prepare for the future?
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].