Don't Be A Statistic
“Do you drink heavily?” I queried.
“No!” she loudly denied.
“How about illegal drugs?”
“Mmmm…” Pause….”Only marijuana, Ma’am,” she softly whispered.
I looked again at the prescribed medications started when she first came in to the prison’s Intake. I counted about 5 different kinds, the usual medications given as allowed by our protocol. All for those having alcohol withdrawal symptoms. I was hesitant to give it at first. After she denied heavy alcohol use.
The Intake Nurse who happened to screen her the previous night, fortunately, was working with me that night in the Infirmary. I approached her and asked her if she could recall anything about this crying, young inmate.
“Rcubes,” she responded right away, after seeing her through the glass windows, “She was so wasted when she came in to the prison last night. They brought her first at the hospital and she was shaking.”
“Thanks. That’s all I need to know.”
I gave this crying inmate a handful of pills and a small cup of water.
“Here…These are being given to you because of the symptoms you showed last night. You were heavily intoxicated and were shaking when you got here at the jail,” I explained.
More tears fell…She didn’t refuse. She cupped her right, slightly quivering hand. She knew she drank alcohol. But she denied that. She just turned 21. And the fun of using alcohol made it more legal for that age. Except, she was being succumbed to a deadly habit. Subtly. Taking her like a hostage. Taking her farther away from freedom she once knew.
I watched her slowly traced her heavy steps back to her unit. Her head bent down. Still not sure what was wrong with her. It was her first time in the jail. She tasted the harsh environment. Of being locked up for a few days. To live in a tiny cell with another female unknown to her. Where violence could erupt at any moment.
Another one young life. Being wasted in the process. Alcohol. Drugs. Prostitution. Robbery. Pregnancy. These are the unfamiliar roads she decided to take. These roads that distract someone with a goal in life and entangle them and make them live a life that is empty. Barren. Dry. Unproductive.
As I saw the last bit of her shadow, I could only pray. For her to see the Light in this dark place she was in. For her to get out of that unfamiliar road and be focused toward one goal. Of seeing straight and knowing the only Truth. The only Way. The only Life.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5,6
"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding." - Proverbs 2:2-6
"Then you will understand what is right, just and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe." - Proverbs 2:9-11
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 himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application 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].