The River

"That's it? Nothing wrong with me even if I'm having this chest pain?" queried the middle-aged male inmate in front of me, as he started taking off the EKG leads glued to his arms and hairy chest.

"Everything was normal with your blood pressure and pulse and the doctor had read your EKG. She couldn't find anything that is alarming. However, she wanted me to give you some pain medications to make you more comfortable," I replied as I motioned for him to get out of the exam room.

"You claimed you were coughing for the last 3 days though and though you don't have sore throat or congested sinus, drink a lot of water anyway," I advised.

He denied injury nor any problem with his heart and overall health. New to the prison environment, anxiety usually sets in with these housed inmates. Worried about the outcome of their crimes when they go to court, the chest gets tight and breathing air in and out seems to be hard.

"Thank you anyway, Ma'am," he stated softly, as I handed him a pack of white pills to help his pain subside or be gone.

"Sir, I want you to know, you can come back here anytime by putting a request or letting your deputy know, if anything gets worse, okay?" I explained.

"Thank you..."he uttered again as he got up and exited from the Clinic, out into the long hallways that would take him back to his tiny cell.

I could have told him straight to his face that he was just wasting my time, after everything turned out to be normal. After all, I glanced at my watch and it was the end of my shift. I couldn't stay any longer to do overtime. I was tired. I wanted to go home.
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But there are so many around us who needs compassion. The kind that Jesus had shown. I am not compassionate. But I was changed by His love that I learned how to be compassionate. I bathed in His river of mercy and grace once. And I have been carrying that river in me. You, too, if you have accepted His forgiveness. But just like how a river must be flowing, we can't contain that and not share it with others. We hold the gates in our hearts to let the river either flow or be contained. To let the river flow fast or slow. To let the river touch another person or not.

I am not compassionate. But I am choosing to be compassionate because of what He did to me. The mighty River had cleansed me. The mighty River quenched those parched areas of my life and continues to satiate my thirsts. The mighty River poured His love unto my heart. The mighty River is behind me.

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
-John 7:38

"You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate." - Luke 6:36 [NLT]

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7,8
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