I started cleaning my own stethoscope with an alcohol pad. I picked up the pens from my lab coat pocket and tried to stow them away into my clear, plastic purse.
“Not a bad night at all”, I told my other co-worker who was also getting ready to leave in 20 minutes.
Then, the morning charge nurse got a call from a unit. They were sending a man bleeding on his face from shaving. She requested me and the other co-worker if we didn’t mind seeing the expected inmate.
“Not at all,” I responded with a willing heart. There were two of us and we both work great together as a team, so I knew this would be a “piece of cake”.
A young male approached the partition window towards the Clinic. He was holding a regular white towel with smears of blood on some spots. He seemed to be putting pressure on his face as I observed him.
When my co-worker and I motioned for him to go inside the exam room so we could examine him closely, we both were surprised when he let go of the towel. He had three huge lacerations on his face and started oozing blood from those sites. Two were horizontally etched on the right side of the chin and a longer gash on the left side of the cheek. I looked into his eyes as the other nurse started taking his blood pressure.
“Sir, tell me now! You were attacked by someone. These are not from shaving!,” I calmly uttered.
“What? I told you, I’ve been shaving and I accidentally cut myself,” as he slightly raised his tone of voice as if annoyed that I didn’t believe him.
I just kept looking into his eyes and remained silent. He sealed his mouth, too. As more blood oozed, both of us were into that “staring” kind of game.
Momentarily, I stepped out and consulted the day charge nurse because I already knew that this man was attacked. We needed to get deputies involved because if later on that this inmate would want to file a charge against his attacker, photos were needed to be taken and a thorough investigation conducted by the custody staff in his unit.
I walked back to where the inmate was sitting. I had doubts with him saying that he cut his face while shaving. But doing so, I only wanted to know the truth so that I could protect him, too by not sending him back to the same unit where the attacker was.
“Will you give me candies after treating me, nurse?” he jokingly asked me.
I just stared again through his eyes and his stares that once fought with mine was now clearly losing. He slowly bowed his head amid my silence.
As I was cleaning the wounds, still not saying anything, the deputy came. The inmate looked at me and looked at the deputy. A minute later, the deputy asked me if I could leave them alone.
“Of course,” I happily responded. I knew that this inmate wanted to tell the deputy the truth now and that was all I wanted to happen. He still couldn’t look me in the eye and his stare was that of an embarassed kind.
I gave the report to the day charge nurse. I took the clear plastic purse with me and waited for my co-worker to get hers. As we were about to step out of the Clinic’s door, the inmate was sitting on one of the chairs nearby, waiting for the deputies from his unit.
“Ma’am, how did you know?”, he softly asked.
“Sir, I’ve been here so long I don’t even need to ask you. We just know…” I answered.
“Thank you,” he calmly replied.
“No! Thank you! I just wanted the truth from you that would eventually save yourself from getting hurt again,” I smiled as my co-worker and I left everything in that place and took our steps heading out the door and be able to breathe some fresh air outside and get refreshed on our days off. We knew that this wouldn’t be the first nor the last case to happen. But what a relief to know that we were able to help him out and discern the lies from what truly happened.
Remember “Doubting Thomas”? Though he doubted Jesus was resurrected, he deserved to be respected for his faith. He was a doubter but he had a purpose - he wanted to know the truth. Doubting was his way of responding, not his way of life.
We can also doubt without having to live a doubting life. It encourages rethinking. Doubt can be used to ask a question, get an answer and push for a decision. It was never meant to be a permanent condition.
We can all be encouraged by Thomas whenever we experience doubt. He didn’t stay in his doubt but allowed Jesus to bring him to belief.
“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see My hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’ ‘My Lord, my God!’ Thomas exclaimed”. [John 20: 27, 28].
Become One With Your Sword
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