I glanced at my watch…7:30[in the morning]...I finally sat down after doing some treatments and started feeling better knowing that I was almost done for the day. When the phone rang. One of the units wanted to send an inmate complaining of breathing as they were eating chow [breakfast at that time].
“Send him down here if he’s able to walk,” I requested.
A young male showed up, complaining of sore throat for a few days. It wasn’t an emergency. But to him, the pain he felt whenever he swallowed food was an emergency. He knew that it wasn’t time yet for a regular sick call in the unit. I started interviewing him as the deputy wasn’t around. I was done obtaining the info I needed to know in order for me to better treat him. As soon as the deputy arrived, I let him in and took his vital signs.
“It’s a good thing. You don’t have a fever!” “Now, open your mouth and say ‘ahhh’” as I shone my little flashlight I always carried in my lab coat’s pocket.
“Your throat is just mildly red and the tonsils are mildly swollen. That means, you’re fighting some viral thing. Just try to get some rest and if you’re not nauseous, drink lots of fluids so you can fight this off,” I advised.
I gave him 3 small envelopes, each containing lozenges, medications for cold and another for pain. He smiled at me and felt relieved to know that it was nothing serious.
“Ma’am, thank you.”
“You’re wel…”I hardly finished my answer when he added, “God bless you.” I was surprised. For those words hardly come out of inmates’ mouths. I felt his sincere gratitude. I was glad that he remembered God in all of that. For that was my aim every time I go to work. To do things for God and His love be known through me. For I was once His enemy. And became His friend when I accepted Him into my heart. I deserved His wrath, yet, He loved me and gave me His mercy. He gave me spiritual blessings instead. My sins kept me apart from Him, Holy God, yet His grace saved me. Grace through faith…God’s unmerited favor. His fullness in my life. Grace He sent down from heaven to make a way again. For sinners’ broken relationships with Him to be mended by the blood shed on the cross.
It was His grace that made me become His servant here in the prison. Grace that overflowed and touched another, needing it. It was not only physical healing that he needed. It was the spiritual healing that he needed the most. Like the rest of the inmates who don’t know Jesus. And by His grace, as he tasted some of it, would linger. In that hurting heart of his. And I felt with certainty, that change would come. In His perfect time. At this special season of the year, please remember that it was not the nails that kept Jesus on that cross. It was God’s love. And Jesus’ willingness to surrender to His Father’s will. To save humanity.
“God bless you…” Simple words but when released from someone’s heart with a sincere gratitude and knowing that there was some divine intervention that occurred, meant a lot…Kindness is one of His gifts as we draw nearer Him. Kindness that we impart after we received it. Kindness, covered with love. And God is love. That is how His blessings work. From one life He touched, to another. From mine toward that inmate…He would never know…
He blessed me more than I blessed him…
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:1-10
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].