“Aren’t you gonna’ bring him to Unit 15[special unit where they housed the mentally ill and those with special health needs]?” I asked the deputy who just brought this elderly inmate from the hospital. He appeared tired and wanting to not just take care of him anymore. As two other younger deputies joined him in echoing their frustration on what to do with this guy.
He was not capable of caring for himself. He soiled his pants most of the time and wet it, too. Our prison was not designed to do bedside nursing. So there was no choice but to send him to the county’s hospital where there was a jail ward.
“I don’t understand!” a teeny female voice that came from one of the deputies broke the silence and weariness. “Why don’t you guys just prepare that injection….you know…..” she didn’t finish her statement as no one was saying anything and didn’t expect her to say that.
I stared at her, eye to eye as she was trying to say to give this man a lethal form of injection as he seemed incapable of doing anything anymore. She stopped mid-sentence as she saw me with penetrating stares through her blue eyes. She didn’t feel my agreement with what she just uttered.
But life is precious. Only One gave it, made it, formed it. Wouldn’t it be His right to take it away, too? In His own, perfect time. For us, humans to think that we must have this right to die, knowing how we can’t trust our ways of reasoning, just doesn’t seem right nor fitting.
I saw it in my own father’s suffering. When he was dying and was laying there on his bed for a couple of weeks. The colon cancer invaded his strength, the excruciating pain he must feel that made him beg, day in, day out, for the Maker to take him home. But through it all, people who came to visit him, saw the joy in his eyes, despite the suffering he was in. He made people cried. Not with sorrow. But with tears of joy and happiness as he shared what He knew about the Maker. About His blessings in his life. Neighbors were wondering why my brothers and I were laughing out loud everyday, when my father was dying. It was because my father never stopped telling funny stories. He said “I love you” to each of us, his children in countless times.
I knew then at that point, God used that painful trial my family and I had to go through to bring others to Christ. He used my father’s faith to make people see that He was there, sustaining us all with His strength and peace and joy to overcome this painful transition of my father from life to death. Or was it?
As Christians, we are given this hope of eternal life by our Lord. Death then, is not the end. It’s only the beginning of eternal life. No more pain. No more tears. No more suffering. Only in His presence.
Euthanasia can be a difficult issue. But we all know that death is inevitable. Noone wants to suffer but God does use those sufferings for His purposes.
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” - Ecclesiastes 7:14
“Not only so , but we also rejoice in sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance…” - Romans 5:3
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].