True Courage

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.”

“How old?”

“Only 2.”

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)

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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].