In The Fields...Of Grace...

“Lift your lips and open your mouth wide!” commanded the LVN who was passing meds that evening when I decided to re-acquaint myself in this facility where I used to work in my earlier years. The inmate in front of her, grinning sheepishly while the others shook their heads and started whispering...

There were 3 structures where the inmates were classified and housed. The dust was softly being blown by the late evening breezes. The sun was already setting behind those chain link fences locked in each doors.The yard empty by then as inmates huddled close, talking amongst themselves and some, watching shows from the big monitor reserved for them.

Those waiting for their evening medications were already lined up as the deputies had called them prior to our arrival. Holding cups of water and with the other hand holding their ID’s, one by one, they waited for their turn. The LVN did the right thing. When placing medications on the inmates' hands, she should make sure that the meds were swallowed as some were good at hiding the pills at the folds in their mouths, under the tongue, sometimes, spitting into the cup, and also, pretending to take the pills when one or all were hidden in their fingers. I remembered…I used to bring a flashlight when I used to pass meds in that facility. I aimed the bright light into their mouths where I could see well if anything was being hidden. I caught some…And when I did, they would either lose that privilege of getting that medications or be placed in discipline.

There are thousands of reasons why inmates do that behavior. Of hiding medications. Or other contrabands. They use those things for their advantage. Selling them in return for a favor. For things or other services. Sometimes, some are just being upset that they think they shouldn’t be there that they like to waste those so the county is losing money that way. They are good at improvising.

I looked at each body. The musty smell surrounding and reaching the cage that protected the deputies, the LVN, and myself. I saw “laziness”. Of some bodies laying on the bed. I couldn’t imagine for anyone not to do anything all day. Most of them, talking. In groups. Obviously with clear distinction of one color hanging around, or trying to find someone with the same race. The “brotherly handshakes” that meant “they belonged”…But still…I sensed most of them were not learning anything but laziness. They knew their rights. When outside, they were quick to violate that of others’. They complained about everything. Food. Beds. Pillows. Showers. Medications. When outside, they knew some of them couldn’t afford those. Especially that the economy had been hard for us.

The LVN waved goodbye as she escorted me and opened the front gate where the staff parking was. Slightly illuminated with amber lights, the surrounding areas were nothing but darkness. That was close to midnight. She was nice enough to accompany me and made sure I was okay until I got to my car. I thanked her and turned on my ignition. With the wilderness around me, I saw a reflection of a fading image of this facility from my rear-view mirror.  It was known as a rehabilitation center. But was it really helping others reformed their lives or not?

It was sad…To realize that God always provided for anyone’s needs only to be taken for granted. And how most prisoners always waited for provisions. When perhaps, God might be waiting for them to take the first step needed. To work. To do something. In order to meet that need. Of being reformed. Changed. For a renewed life.

Oh Lord, forgive us when we take Your blessings for granted…Forgive us when we don’t take actions when we should for the needs we lift up to You. How can we even forget that in Your fields of grace, all our needs are met and You never cease in supplying  our needs? Like Ruth, remind us oh Lord to glean the grain in Your rich fields of grace. Thank You Lord for Your love, grace, and mercy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


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].