“Cut it down, Ladies!” I yelled through the thick glass, partition window. I tried to only call 2 diabetics at a time. I never allowed anyone to try to distract me with complaints, knowing it could only take that precious second before anyone could try to hide the needles they were allowed to use to poke their fingers and the syringes to administer to those who need their morning doses of insulin. They could improvise and potentially make a weapon out of that small needle or sometimes, use them for tattooing. Silence. The deputy was pleased that these female inmates listened to me.
“Miss B.!” I yelled as she met my stare and quietly approached the window. Her smile lingered.
“Good morning, Ma’am…This is my last day and I just want to thank you for everything you did,” she uttered.
“You’re going home?” I asked.
“Yup! I’m being released today,” she responded.
“No wonder why you’re so happy. Take care of yourself out there. And try to make things better so you don’t come back here,” I added.
“Yes, Ma’am. Thank you.” she replied as she handed me back the cup that contained the used “poker” [needles].
Haven’t we been smiling, too? Since knowing that we have been freed by accepting Christ into our hearts? Knowing that despite the struggles we are all in in this big prison [world], we have this “hope” that is not short-lived but lasts eternal.
Oh, how I long sometimes to be with Him in His Kingdom. But I am still here in this world. For a purpose. You, too. But how traumatic it is to live here and not have that eternal hope. For those who don’t want to believe in His eternal promise of life, they are just stuck in this world’s system. Striving for popularity, pleasure, money, prestige or power.
Yes, with Christ, to die is better. We are being removed from all the troubles here. And to see Him face to face? Unfathomable! If we are feeling loved now and we know how much He values each of us, what more to be with Him? But if you are not ready to die, then, you are missing a lot of things here in this world. Things that have eternal weight. Things that are not eaten by moths. Things that do not rust. We don't need to wait until we die to have them. We can start now. Right here. In this corner. Now. You can start smiling if you allow yourself to know the freedom that Jesus offers.
Yes, For me, I’ll keep showing my smile, despite the ills of this world. We are all in this fight together. It is a privilege to trust in Christ but also it is, too in suffering for Him. I am smiling knowing that I’m free because of what Jesus had done for us. I’m not afraid to die anymore. And for now, I will ask for His guidance and wisdom to help me live the remaining days of my life devoting my time to reflect what His love and grace means to those who haven’t come to know Him.
"Have you accepted the Lord Jesus into your heart?"
Don't be a prisoner of this world. Be a prisoner of hope!
“For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better.” - Philippians 1:20-21
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].