Swamped by a horde of incoming newly-arrested bodies, I volunteered to help the Intake Nurse as we just got done with all the work in the Infirmary. A female Highway Patrol ordered her arrestee to sit on the plastic chair inside the Intake Nurse’s small clinic so we both could start screening him, health-wise.
He was slightly drunk.Seeing the flashing lights behind him, he made the crucial decision to step more on the gas pedal. Cruising through many streets at a very high speed, his car went through a median. He had laceration on two of his fingers on his left hand. They were cut so deep from the accident, he almost lost his fingers. It was fortunate he didn’t break a bone nor sustained a massive head injury. He had a female passenger being booked on the other side of the prison’s Intake.
“Sorry,” I uttered. “I can’t let you have that metal stabilizer on your fingers though I know your fingers needed to be immobilized. No one is just allowed to keep any metal thing here while incarcerated,” I explained.
“I understand, Ma’am,” he politely responded.
“What are we going to do?” asked the other nurse.
“It’s okay.” I replied. Stepping back toward the sink where a glass jar housed a few wooden tongue blades, I got two and broke them in half, leaving a length that corresponds to his fingers’. I applied it carefully after seeing him in pain and secured it with a gauze and tape. It worked about the same purpose as that metal immobilizer. To his relief.
As the other nurse was summoned to screen the other arrestee, the female Officer busy writing within a distance, I helped him take out his right arm from the long sleeve covering it so I could take a blood pressure reading.
There it was, I saw a beautiful font tattooed on his mid-forearm that spelled “J E S S E”.
“Who’s Jesse?” “You?”
“My son, Ma’am.”
Silence…I looked at him eye to eye.
“Sir, I usually try not to say anything.” (Knowing it was only him and I at that time, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with the man as if he was my relative and not think of him as an arrestee).
“I hope that your son means a lot to you…”
He smiled as if he knew where the conversation was going.
“I love him so much,” he abruptly answered.
“Then, if you do, think about him always. Carry him in your heart. So, when you have to make decisions, he will always be a part of that decision. And if he truly is a part of that decision, then, hopefully, you will choose to take the right move, not the bad one. Because of Jesse…”
He was whisked away by the female Officer. He turned around and thanked me and gave me a smile. Softly, he whispered, “I will, Ma’am. Thank you.”
After being booked, I saw he would remain incarcerated for a long time because of all the violations he did. Jesse would grow up in that long amount of time. But I prayed for him. That it would never be too late to make that change. For him and Jesse.
In this life, true courage is not climbing the tallest mountain. It is not about sailing many seas. True courage is admitting you’re wrong and you’re truly sorry for it. True courage is knowing you are a sinner, just like everyone else and with true repentance, knees are bent and tears are shed as the heart cries for forgiveness from one, true God. And to Him, a broken heart and a contrite spirit is offered at His feet.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
~ 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
"The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." - Psalm 51:17 (NLT)