My Heart's Cry For Peace

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Last night, I was scheduled to work at the prison’s Intake [where new arrestees arrive from the streets from cops’ cars]. I haven’t been there in a while. And as my anxiety of uncertain things to come started coming, I chose not to let those overwhelm me.

I went into my room before taking a nap and decided to talk with Him. I didn’t need to search. I knew what I was looking for. My right hand’s digits opened the Bible to “Psalm 91”. I knew I needed that protection that He provides.

Prior to that, I visited sister Mary . I had known her as one of my long time bloggy friends and someone who just incessantly pray. I know a lot of you are praying for me. And this is just a moment for me to let you all know how much I appreciate all of you knowing how vital it is that we pray for each other, too. I truly am very grateful to have met each one of you and in you, I have the best assurance that I am covered with your awesome prayers as I walk into the well-guarded facility, but open and vulnerable to spiritual attacks.

This is how the night went:

The charge nurse had me working in the office. But there was a new nurse requesting to work with me at Intake so she could be exposed more and learn more. As much as I hated to be at Intake, I thought, “Is it You Oh Lord Who wants me there? For whatever reason, that’s fine with me. But I need You. I need Your protection, Your wisdom. No drama for me tonight Lord. And if it’s not too much to ask of You, may it be a quiet night?” I silently prayed.

Friday nights are known to be bad nights at Intake. That’s when many bodies who regularly go to the bars go for a casual drink. Unfortunately, they make a bad decision of getting behind their wheels and that was how they were caught. Some were long time alcoholics whose faces became so familiar that when they get released on the previous nights, you just had that gut feeling that they would be back.

The PM nurse was busy, busy and loud! I could feel a lot of restless spirits [hard to explain]. Loud, talking with Sergeant and deputies. She hasn’t given me her report but I had already checked and logged on those inmates under Suicide Watch.

There were 2 bodies in each of the 2 safety cells that we had [where they are more serious than suicidal ones because they are always agitated and sometimes, hard to control without giving them a calming medicine]. The inmates lined-up were quiet but the amount of bodies just contributed to these distractions. Deputies were constantly yelling, calling whoever was needed to be processed and fingerprinted. Their mug shots taken. Some inmates resisted and were just too intoxicated to be talked to. They were thrown [not literally] into sobering cells until they could talk better. But that meant more bodies for me to check and make sure they were not having withdrawal symptoms from drinking too much or other illegal substances.

Along with the deputies’ yelling, people working at the Bridge were yelling, too, calling on each person to be booked. The orientee PM nurse was asking for my attention, as I was just screening an arrestee who came back from the hospital with doctor’s orders. She was requesting for me to teach her because the other nurse was busy and she was starting to panic because it was almost time to go.

I answered her questions patiently but in my mind, I was thinking I would be behind with my own work. My orientee came in and was also overwhelmed with the activities that seemed like a zoo!

I talked to the Lord in my mind and with a soft prayer, “It can’t be happening. I asked for Your protection, guidance, calm night, no drama! It is the opposite though, Lord. I am overwhelmed right now and my charting is piling up. I’m not complaining but I just need You to assist me. Then, I know I will be fine! Help me, Lord!”

In the next hour that followed, the PM nurse finally got done and decided she could give me her report. The new nurse working with me looked at me and sighed and with her eyes, I felt like she uttered, “Finally…” I heard a “Whew…” under her breath.

Until it was just her and I. I started telling her a few things how it should have really gone with the change of shift report. But now she knew that it was impossible to get an orderly report at times because it could be very hectic as she witnessed herself.

We kept talking. I kept teaching. She was listening. Phone calls. More arrestees came with medical issues. Got up and checked on those suicidal inmates and offered water to those who didn’t have access to the fountain.

2 hours had passed. The other nurse turned her head toward me and said, “I like working with you. I hope I have another opportunity with you. It was so loud earlier, chaotic and so restless like. But with just you here, it was calm, busy but you were calm. We got caught up with things and you were able to teach me at the same time. I don’t know if I’m going to last here. There are so many other nurses who are hard to work with.”

She was right! The peace and calm felt like a blanket that covered all the areas of Intake at that moment. The suicidal ones in safety cells were calm and asleep. They took water when I offered but calmly and would just go back right to sleep. They never caused me any problems. The yelling, pounding on the window drunks all went to sleep, some were just sitting up, quietly as if wondering why they ended on those cold floors of the sobering cells.

“Lord, I know it’s You! You did answer me! Thank You!”

To the other nurse I replied, “You know what’s my secret before coming to this place?”

“What? I wanna’ know.”

“Pray…I pray…because we have to.” [not minding what she would say about it by me saying that. Deep inside, it was just fitting to throw the glory back to the Lord and give a testimony at the same time].

“I believe that. I saw it…the calmness.” she replied.

“Don’t give up. I know it can be frustrating many times. But think about it, you came from a different setting. Everything here, you need to learn. I think you are doing great! I’ll say, give it about 3 more months. Don’t say you’ll quit.”

“3 months? Hmmm…That long? I don’t know if I can.”

“Yes, you can. Because I did. 9 years ago, I was in the same shoes. And another kind nurse told me the same words I told you just now. If I made it, then, surely you will, too. When I also came to really believe God and accept Him in my heart, it also changed everything, the way I look and see things.”

“Okay. I’ll try. Thank God I am with you tonight.”

“Thank God is right!” I added.

Sorry guys that this is too long. But I want to bring the point of how important it is to lift up everything in prayers, all our worries to our good Lord Who is always listening. And if we really follow His lead, you just never know if He will put someone in your path that needs encouragement, that needs to hear a testimony, not about us, but His grace, His provision, His love, His faithfulness. I can go on and on…Thank you for your prayers and thanks be to God Who answers our petitions! So, to Him be the glory forever and ever, in all ages of eternity to come! God bless all of you and may we keep on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!!!

Prayers surely open that door to PEACE
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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].