I kept staring at this arrestee’s shallow puncture wound, atop his right eyebrow, as I started screening him for any medical or mental health problem. His arresting officer watching us by the door.
“I did it! Yes! I stabbed myself with a screwdriver because I was so pissed off with my wife,”he replied when I asked him what caused the wound. I noticed the scattered minor scratches all over his arms. None of them were bleeding fortunately.
“Do you have any history of mental problem or were you ever on any Psych meds?”
“I think I have depression but no! I am not taking any meds,” he answered as he kept his head bowed low, looking down on the floor.
“Do you feel like hurting yourself still at this time?” I probed.
“No! I promise you, I don’t! I was just upset earlier,” he stated.
“I’m sorry, Sir. Even though you stated you don’t want to hurt yourself anymore[as I studied his facial expressions the whole time], I have no choice but to still put you on Suicide Watch!”
“Why? I told you I’m okay now!”
“Why? It’s because who in the right mind would do something like that, “stabbing himself with a screwdriver because you were angry?” And because you told me that you might have a history of depression, I would like for our Psychiatrist to see you first thing in the morning when he gets here.”
“I want you to know, you will be put in a special cell, everything removed and you will be given a Velcro-strapped clothing to cover you and at least keep you warm. Deputies and myself will constantly keep an eye on you and you don’t have to do anything special but just try to rest and just wait on the doctor to come. I am not risking any moment for you to be a risk for your own safety.”
He started sobbing, as I saw the arresting officer nodding his head in agreement. Tears flowed and in between his sobs, he uttered, “Okay.” He stopped explaining about his promises not to hurt himself.
After the chaotic time ceased when a wave of arrestees came, I went to see him on the Suicide Cell. He was asleep, looking peaceful down on a blue, plastic boat, a makeshift bed on the cold floor. I knew that morning, it would be a new day for him. After the Psychiatrist would come and assess him, I knew the right help would dawn on him. As he rests…
His promise sounded so true. That he wouldn’t hurt himself anymore. But deep inside, there was more to that puncture wounds and few scratches. The real wound was unseen deep in his heart. If I missed those unseen cues, I could have listened to him and would have put him in general population. But I couldn’t imagine that risk if he ever had the strength and opportunity to harm himself.
Our spiritual enemies love to twist the truth. The devil challenged Jesus when He was in the wilderness.
The enemy took Jesus to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.” [this is in parallel with Psalm 91:12]
But Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.” [Matthew 4:6-7]
The enemy used the Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin! He may sound very convincing but Jesus knew the Truth. He knew that the devil twisted the truth.
If we study the Bible carefully, especially with the broader contexts of specific verses, we will truly understand God’s principles for living and what He wants for our lives. We are to REST upon His faithful promises, not TEST Him!
"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
-John 4:24 (NIV)
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness."
-Romans 1:18 (NIV)
"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44 (NIV)
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." - John 16:13 (NIV)