I was the Intake Nurse long time ago. My charts that needed to be opened for those arrestees who had a medical or psychiatric problems were piling up in front of me. As I started getting to work, I was almost startled though the voice was soft. It broke through the brief solitude I had which gave me time to catch up with my charting.
“Ma’am, can I ask you for some Motrin? My tooth hurts!” bravely queried an inmate worker. He and the other worker wearing blue uniforms. They usually could be found in one corner of the Intake on the male side. Awaiting for the deputies to call them if they needed help to have something cleaned up or to pass meals during “chow times”. They sort of the errand runners for us. For medical staff, they often would get empty charts as we needed them. Or they would pick up a wheel chair or other equipment stored in our Infirmary.
“You know you need to put a sick call, right?” I replied. That was the rule. That no medications would be given to any inmate, not unless it was through a sick call when the nurse could evaluate them.
He lowered his head and pivoted to head back to the corner where he was.
“Wait! I didn’t say I wouldn’t give you any yet, right?” I added.
His face lit up. But at the same time, a little grimace was also shown.
“Are you sure you’re okay to work?”
“I think I can handle it Ma’am. I just need to try if the Motrin can help me until I finish this shift.”
I grabbed a handful of packets of Motrin after determining he didn’t have any drug allergy. His right hand, cupped and waiting for the meds to be dropped. He had a little wry smile this time.
“Sir, I’m giving you some to make you comfortable because you’re at work. But if your toothache doesn’t get better, please put a sick call. So, the nurse can determine if you need to see our dentist.”
“Thank you so much, Ma’am,” he replied with gratitude. He disappeared from where he was standing. A few minutes later, he came back and emptied my big trash can becoming full with papers and other forms of trash.
“Thank you, Sir! I appreciate your help,” I told him.
I sat there with my achy neck after finishing the charts. I started thinking…”Was I wrong on giving him that packets of Motrin because it just wasn’t allowed if not through a sick call? That meant I broke the policy?” But I strongly felt it wasn’t about breaking the policy. It was about helping someone who was in pain. And this thought came over me that brought me comfort:
That Jesus healed a crippled man on a Sabbath, where the Pharisees were just waiting for that opportunity to attack him and his ministry. Blinded by their own self-righteousness and oral laws with the intention of keeping God’s commandments, they failed to see the real meaning behind God’s laws.
“No work is allowed on Sabbath! Healing is work!” they accused Jesus.
Jesus knew their hearts…with hardness. So he asked if it was lawful to do good or evil on Sabbath, to save a life or destroy? None of the Pharisees could answer. Are there still Pharisees today? I believe so. We are like them when we build those walls around us, to separate us from sinners. Thinking that what we do is right in the sight of God. But those walls are the same walls that separated us from what God truly wants from us. What defiles us is what is in our hearts.
Oh, Lord...help us to be more like Jesus everyday. Mold our hearts. Remove the things that impede my spiritual growth. Forgive me for my sins. In Jesus' precious Name. Amen.
Self-righteousness: Our Greatest Danger
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].