Different Journeys

"See!" a young female inmate uttered through the thick glass. "Look! I didn't even pee that much!"

"That's okay," I reassured. "Remember what you told me when you first walked in?"

"I just went pee in my unit."

"Okay...That's why I'm not concerned," I added as I dipped a piece of paper strip that would check her urine for any abnormalities.

"Everything is normal," I blurted out my findings.

Her face marred with a few skin irritations on her forehead, some blemished spots on both sides of her mouth, and her total appearance that made her way older than her real age of just being 19, continued to think about other symptoms to make me give her some pain meds she was craving for.

"Let me be honest with you," I said, interrupting her busy thoughts.

"It is the drugs that are making you feel sick now. You and I both know that you don't have kidney stones. You want the pain medications because your body is going through a withdrawal right now..."

"Why don't you go through that door!" a loud pop was heard as I twisted a black dial that electronically opened a specific door. As I took her vital signs and everything came back normal, I offered some medications to help calm down her upset stomach and relieve her other physical pain.

"You're young," I initiated a conversation as her head bowed low having admitted her heavy use of drugs for many years.

"You're 19?"

"Yes, Ma'am..."

"When did you start using heroin and other drugs?"

"Since I was 13," her head bent down again as if embarrassed with her answer.

"I'm sorry...Usually, I don't say anything. But because you are suffering from severe withdrawal now, if you allow me to speak, may I say try to clean up before you don't even see another year?"

Her look was not surprised. She nodded and agreed.

"But it's hard. You can't do it on your own," I advised.

"There are lots of agencies out there and if you don't have any resources, you may also go to the county hospital and ask for the help that you need..."

"That is....if you value your life..."

She got up and thanked me. I saw her nodding slightly as if I sensed her determination to change and her acceptance that she knew she was in a deep pit and that she needed help.

As the heavy, metal door slammed behind her after I gave her yellow pass to go back to her unit, I felt sadness for her. I sensed her sincere gratitude with the advice I had given but I knew that no matter how helpful and maybe that was the only comforting word she heard that day, I still wouldn't be able to help her with the kind of help she needed.

Her journey is different from mine. It is impossible for me to be walking beside her. It would be impossible for me to walk the way she walks because we started from different directions and are walking on different roads. But despite that fact, we both need guidance with our footsteps. We both need the only One Who can remove any bumps on the roads that hinder us from knowing the only and true direction that our valuable lives need to walk on. The narrow road that leads to hope, a future and an eternal life.

The truth is even if our starting point differs, we will all have the same destiny. We will all reach the end of the road. But the manner of walking depends on us, the manner of choosing which road to go depend on us. In reality, we all need His guidance because there are so many distractions along the way. Some that leads to destruction.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way." - Matthew 7:13 (NLT)

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