Twisted Truth

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I worked at the prison’s Intake Saturday night as the assigned nurse had called in sick. It was quiet and calm until the arrestees started showing up between the hours of 3:30-4:30 in the morning.

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)
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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].