The yellowish drainage oozed from a tiny puncture-like wound coming from the inmate’s left hip. As I pressed to make the drainage come out more, despite the pain, he felt relief. I applied more wound cleanser and stuffed the deep wound with a special kind of dressing inside. Covered it well with a very absorbent dressing, as the deputy and the LVN nurse who saw him earlier and requested me if I could do the dressing change were watching, disgusted.
“How long have you been using heroin?” I asked.
The deputy and the LVN looked at me surprised at the question I asked.
The inmate looked dumb-founded. Quiet for a few minutes and not sure what to say.
“Go on,” I added. “You can tell me. Don’t worry. The deputy will not use your answer against you because I needed to know this information before I have the doctor see you this morning,” I explained.
Unable to move his hands as they were both securely held behind his back with the silver handcuff, he said, “Yes, Ma’am. I’ve been using heroin heavily for so long now, I can’t remember.”
“That’s all I needed to know,” I uttered.
“Thank you for taking care of my wound,” he replied. He started tracing back his footsteps where he first walked in, the unit’s deputy right behind him, thanking me for treating the inmate.
“That was disgusting!” exclaimed the LVN. “But how did you know that he was using heroin? I thought he just had that abscess when he got arrested.”
“I just know. Working here for many years now. It doesn’t hurt to ask anyway,” I replied.
“Thank you nurse rcubes, for helping me treat that inmate. You were so nice to him,” she said.
“Don’t need to thank me. That’s our job here,” I retorted with a smile.
Nice to him? I was only paying back God’s goodness to me. Me? A wretched sinner who deserved punishment and God’s wrath, obtained His mercy instead. Forgiven. My spiritual wounds treated and healed by the merciful Savior. I am a sinner like that inmate. Like him, I also need God’s love and mercy. His compassion never fails. When our awareness of sins overcome us, His compassion never fails.
We should never be afraid to come to God for a clean slate and a renewed life.
Thank You Lord for forgiving me. Thank You for treating my ill ways and addictive behavior toward the worldly things. Thank You that when I confess my sins, You don’t hold them against me. And through Jesus, I obtain Your forgiveness, Your love and mercy.
“O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who looks after you and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green, giving my fruit to you all through the year. Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are discerning listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But sinners stumble and fall along the way.” ~ Hosea 14:8-9
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