Do The Right Thing

“Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;” – Psalm 26:2 [NIV]

“Nurse, excuse me….”

One of the Intake Deputies disrupted my attention as I was trying to get caught up with my charting on those inmates I had screened that had medical or mental problems. I needed to start a chart so they could be seen by either the medical doctor or Psychiatrist, depending on their needs.

“Do you mind taking a look at this guy? He doesn’t look good.”

He motioned for me to go with him to the Search and Hold area, where they search all the arriving arrestees from the streets.

“Wait deputy! Let me just get the vital signs machine so I am not wasting my time. If his vitals are okay, and my assessment on him is okay, he can be booked. But if not, we are not going to waste time asking him questions.”

“Okay. Thank you, Nurse.”

He was talking rapidly. His nose was covered with dried-up blood and some bruising had already started. He was a heavy set man, tall but had disheveled look.

“What happened to you?” I queried as I started the electronic blood pressure cuff on his left arm.

“I smashed my nose but I’m okay, Nurse. Don’t worry about me.”

The din of the inflating cuff of the blood pressure monitor stopped.

“160/110”…….His pulse was 120 and erratic. Sometimes falling to 100, then would go back up to 125.

The arresting officer was already filling out the health screen form for his arrestee. Glancing at my direction, I interrupted him.

“Sorry, Sir. I can’t admit him. You have to bring him to our county’s ER so he can be evaluated because his blood pressure is way high and his pulse is going all over the place.”

His calm but weary face was painted with annoyance.

“No! How about if I let go of the handcuff, can you try taking it again?” he requested.

Arresting officers usually get disappointed when Intake Nurses can’t admit their arrestees for any medical or mental issue that warrants an immediate attention. The process is long as they wait with the arrestees in ER and then, bring them back to the jail, once they are cleared by the ER doctor for booking.

Our Intake Deputy silently talked with me using his eyes.

“It’s okay. Go ahead! I’ll re-check his bp again,” I reassured, sure that nothing would change upon seeing the behavior that was unusual somewhat.

The bp monitor started running and then stopped again: “158/110…His pulse still the same.”I hollered to the watchful eye of the officer.

The officer didn’t say anything. He started packing his paper works. He knew he would not be able to change my mind. A policy is a policy. He knew I was determined not to break that knowing it would be risky for the inmate’s health and most of all, it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

How true with my faith. I want to know where I stand sometimes. Who better to ask than God Who alone can see my heart? I know I have Jesus in me. But how many times I still tend to stray away from what I know? From what He told me?

“Encourage us to do the right thing,” my husband always utters in our daily morning prayers before he goes to work, leaving while it’s still dark, to meet up with other officers. A daily task they have to do to maintain order and peace in this land.

And now that I ponder about his words, “Encourage us to do the right thing…” Paul’s words echoed at the back of my mind:

“Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 [NIV] -[emphasis is mine]

“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” – 2 Corinthians 13:8 [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].