"Lord, help me..."
Until something was recalled in my memory. It happened at work last night. Few hours after I arrived and preparing to volunteer to pull the medications from that million-dollar worth machine that would prepare all the inmates' medications for the morning and noontime doses, I received that call. There was a female inmate complaining of chest pain. "Send her down," I uttered, as I pulled out my own stethoscope from my transparent bag.
She sat there quietly. Reviewing her medical chart, I read she had some mental health issue. She was placed on suicide watch before. But there was no record of any cardiac related problem. Her vital signs were normal. She admitted to a history of anxiety. Despite feeling the certainty that she wasn't having a heart attack, I made her lay down on the exam table and explained that I needed to do an EKG. A thin curtain divided us from the sharp observation of the Clinic Deputy to give her a little privacy. There it was. An eerie stare from her that followed my every moves. Stare that didn't scare me. But penetrated my spirit feeling that she was in deep trouble. That there was another source of this chest pain. The EKG reading came back normal.
I motioned for her to go back to the waiting area. Contemplating on whether I was going to violate some personal zones, I decided to ask her anyway through the thick glass partition window:
"Why are your eyes red? Like you just cried? Is there something bothering you?"
I asked her already those questions during my initial assessment. To which she denied. Except this time, coupled with that weird stare, she looked at me directly in the eyes and answered, "Yes."
"Another cellie [inmate sharing cell with her]?"
She shook her head "no."
"Well then, how can I help you? Because you don't have true heart problems. What's eating in your heart is what's causing your pains," I explained.
She avoided my direct eye contact this time. Softly, she whispered, "I'll be okay, Ma'am." Then, she requested for her yellow pass so she could go back to her unit. Back to the hole that was making her anxious and stressed out every time.
Realizing I needed to pray for this woman, despite the whole day that had passed by, I did. I felt better after asking the Lord to intervene for whatever needs or problems she was going through. The impending doom sensation was replaced with calmness. And 2 Timothy 1:6 suddenly flashed in my mind. I didn't know what it was. So, I got up and took my Bible:
"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you."
Here, Paul was encouraging Timothy to persevere as he was ordained to start a ministry. He received special gifts of the Spirit to make him be able to serve the church. He didn't need to obtain new gifts. He just needed to hang on to the truth and to use those gifts to step boldly in faith and share the Good News.
Like Timothy, we are all given different gifts by the Spirit. May we be all sensitive to the needs of others around us and be able to share His gift of salvation boldly. God will enable us and strengthen us only if we are willing to be His instruments in bringing the Good News to those who are still lost. May we be that sturdy kind of ropes that God sends down to those who have fallen and remain to be in a hole. Like when we used to be...