2 cotton balls, each secured with a piece of clear tape marked 2 spots on the inmate’s right arm. I was aiming for my 3rd attempt to get the needed blood specimen for his lab work.
“You have good veins. For some reason, they roll and they are not giving me the blood,” I sighed. It was not easy for him to be sitting on the plastic chair, as he kept adjusting his right arm, for the veins to be visible for me as I applied the tourniquet. His hands were held together by the metal handcuff, as the unit deputy stood guard by the small Clinic’s door.
He was in for robbery and some other crimes. His face marked with scattered pimples, a kind of breakout resulting from drug habits and familiar to the medical staff. His bilateral arms were colorfully adorned with different kinds of tattoos which even made spotting the veins harder, obscured by the permanent ink.
This was a crucial time for me. Trying not to make this inmate angry with the multiple needle sticks. I needed to make this final blood draw. I needed it to make him remain calm. I needed the specimen because the doctor ordered it for the result to be “stat” [as soon as possible].
Time stood still as I applied the tourniquet once more on his right arm. Asking him to keep pretending his right hand was squeezing a ball, some of the veins became more prominent. I tried not to get excited knowing his veins were tricky. As I opened a small packet of alcohol wipe and rubbed the area I chose, he moved his position and loudly uttered:
“Ma’am, you’re doing okay. You got my veins and sorry if they are not cooperating,” he stated, as he tried to roll his arm to make the area I chose to be more accessible.
“Lord, help me,” I prayed in my mind…”You can get this. Not me….”
The small needle went through a distended vein. A slow flow of red blood returned into the tubing toward a tiny vial marked blue and started collecting. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“I told you. You’ll get it!” he added.
As I marked the vial with his name and my initials, he got up and I thanked him and wished him a great day. I felt the victory that came upon getting that tiny sample. But I knew it wasn’t my technique that made it possible to get that specimen. It was the inmate’s faith on me despite the exhausting process at the beginning for both of us. His faith and trust made the difference for that final stick and my silent prayer filled with faith knowing that He could hear me. Anytime. Anywhere.
“Faith does move mountain.” But the mountain should not be our trials, but Jesus… Jesus mentioned about how faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain. Nothing will be impossible to tell the mountain move from here to there as long as we have even this mustard size faith. It seems like the mustard seed faith can accomplish a great feat if we know where to place that faith.
I always place my prayers with faith on God Who is full of compassion, love, grace, and mercy, knowing that through His Mountain, Jesus Christ, can stir Him and make Him intervene in any situation. God’s Mountain always encourages me and gives me the hope, strength, comfort, protection and guidance I need as I walk in different dark valleys. The valleys are the places where my faith grows and where many prayers are constantly being uttered. It’s obvious that when I pray, my fears wane, my worries disappear, or my life’s storms are being calmed down. Prayers laden with faith do change things but the first to change is me. Deep inside…Where doubts do not exist. Where bumps on the road I’m walking on are seen not as hindrances but opportunities for more growth. In times of adversity, faith keeps me strong and helps me be unmoved. No matter what circumstances surround me, faith brings me an inner joy and peace. Because now I know, the Mountain is always there, looking down on me, giving me hope, as It sees me with my own struggles in the valleys. For without hope there is no faith…