Letter From Christ

The road going up was winding, dark and sometimes, small creatures dashed across the dark road, unknowingly risking their lives to my moving vehicle. Fortunately, with my headlight on a high beam, I was able to avoid them. The usual time of 4:30 in the morning marked this usual trip on an unfamiliar road. On my passenger seat, a plastic tub sat where the inmates’ medications were housed in individual, small orange envelopes. Those meds were delivered to those many bodies who committed minor offenses. There was only 1 deputy. And in that particular housing, separated far from the rest of the rehabilitation center, roamed many inmates.

I parked my car under the soft glow of a little light at the back. I saw some inmate workers already roaming at the back, waiting for the delivery of their morning chow from the prison’s kitchen. All eyes glued to my arrival, watching my every moves. The deputy was not visible, busy inside, starting to wake up the still asleep inmates.

Those happened many years ago. As I thought about it now, I often wondered why I remained courageous doing that uneasy feat. Co-workers admired my courage, working alone in that facility for many years. Working in the dark of the night. Being in a remote location, nature has its way of surprising the staff with its wild ways. Coyotes abound. Snakes lurked somewhere in those dark holes, ready to attack if felt threatened. Squirrels came to try to sneak in a few crumbs they could find laying around the building where staff ate. There was also a sighting of a mountain lion once. Flashfloods came without warning on those rainy days.

But the reality of having inmates freely roaming around was the biggest threat that lurked. Knowing they were unpredictable with their behaviors, despite being rehabilitated. I intentionally set my car’s alarm every time I made that morning delivery. So that nobody could hide under the hood. I wasn’t afraid then. I wasn’t afraid now.

Looking back, I know, I have nothing to brag about. I had confidently worked in that fearful [to others] environment because my confidence came from knowing Jesus. My competence came from Him. I know that those inmates might have different opinions of me, some grateful for the meds I gave, some angry if their meds had not gone through our system yet and so was not delivered on a particular day. But with or without meds, I fairly treated them. To some in doubts, I explained how our medication system worked. Respecting them, no matter what attitude they showed me was what earned me their respect back in the end.

It was through my actions that I hoped they would see and be able to read Christ working in me. Because as believers of the new covenant, we are Christ’s letters.

2 Corinthians 3:6 [47 kb]
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” - 2 Cor. 3:3

We have no credit for our transformations. Yes, we thrive. We remain strong. We are able to endure no matter what circumstances are going on around us. We set examples of what righteous living mean. It is not our work but of God’s spirit. When that seed is planted, we have this new power to live only for Him.

Reflecting now…yes, I was able to work in that dreadful environment. Because I have a God Who is able! And to Him be the glory forever and ever. In all ages to come!
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

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].