“I can’t…Lord, please take me now,” he mumbled under his breath but those words had audibly reached my sense of hearing. Trying to mask his pain, he seldom spoke of the severity of pain from his abdomen he had to endure. My father was dying from colon cancer. The year was 2007.
His prayers remained constant. A constant pleading to have his journey be halted. By the Hands of his Creator. Silence. His eyes closed and his breathing became more normal. As if he fell into a deep sleep, my brothers and I were just huddled close to him. We were like little kids buying more time to cling to our father. Holding him, hugging him, kissing him. As our hearts already had holes that fit the size of our dearest mother, 7 years prior to that, were again preparing to be broken.
Suddenly, his eyes opened and with a soft voice strengthened by his love for us, he spoke, “It’s okay now. I can wait. We go in groups and my group is next.”
“Dad, are you okay? What’s my name?” came out the nurse in me, assessing him for his orientation.
“Rosel! You’re Rosel! Yes, I’m okay. I told you, I can wait now. The Lord will get me when it’s okay with Him. But He told me, that we must learn to forgive. Because when we don’t, that’s why it takes us a long time to go to His place,” he uttered with his remaining strength.
His mind was very clear. And whatever he said might have been from a dream. But there was a truth into that statement. For the Lord did want us to learn to forgive.
My father was a joker. And despite being on bedrest the whole time, he managed to joke around with all of us. He was in good spirits. He accepted the Lord in the year 2003. And the depression he had gone through after half of his heart departed [my mother], was replaced by the joy that came from knowing His Savior. He loved helping others. He loved sharing whatever things he had to those who were in need.
If not for Jesus, I knew then, my brothers and I wouldn’t have comfort and peace. Because of His promise of eternal life to those who would believe in Him, we had that heavenly hope of being reunited, first with Jesus, and then, with our loving parents and other lost loved ones who accepted Jesus in their hearts.
I kissed my father and put my mouth near his ear, “I love you dad. Be patient and wait for the Lord.”
He turned his head to where I was and answered, “I love you. I want you and your brothers to know that I love you all so much. I’ll wait. Because God knows the perfect time.” He closed his eyes. And I knew, the waiting had begun. But it was all worth the wait…”
My eyes shed some tears...of mixed emotions: tears of knowing how much would be missed and tears of joy knowing we had a great reunion to look forward to...
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going." ~ John 14:1-4
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
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].