The Despised Rapist

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)

This young male, newly-booked prisoner was quick to answer me when I asked him if he wanted to hurt himself (which the unit advised us prior to his arrival at the Clinic).

“Yes, I am,” maintaining his eye contact with mine through the thick, glass partition window as our Infirmary Deputy sat watching him. He looked like his hygiene was good. He answered appropriately. He looked like he was well-nourished. I didn’t see any other obvious symptoms except when I looked into those brown eyes, I knew he wasn’t telling the truth.

The secretary and I were trying to find his medical screen so we could open a chart. I was sure that Intake Nurse should have opened one if he claimed that he had mental health problem the moment he walked into the Booking area of the jail. But the Intake Nurse did not remember anything about him. There was no chart, affirming my “gut feeling” that he just complained that morning.

As I was about to print some medical labels, I overheard the deputy who escorted him and the incoming Intake Nurse for the day shift talking with him. Sure enough, with eye contact that couldn’t outlast ours by then, he started shaking a little bit, more nervous as he admitted that he got threatened by his cellmates in the unit that they would beat him up and even kill him.

“Why? What’s your charge?” asked the deputy.

He paused. He didn’t want to say anything, I felt because of embarrassment with regards to his answer. A slow minute passed by as we all stood in front of him awaiting for his answer that would help us in return whether I would put him on Suicide Watch or not.

He took a deep breath as he fell on the chair and whispered, “ Rape and Sodomy…”

I let the deputy and the Intake Nurse talked to him that going suicidal was not the answer. After being evaluated by the Mental Health Doctor, he would surely be put back into the same unit. Same cell. Because it was more of housing issue, the deputy went ahead and took him back to Intake so he could be re-housed. I saw his face lit up a bit as he walked slowly, his wrists remained cuffed behind his back.

Go figure!” the Infirmary Deputy stated.

“Those others were probably thieves, murderers and substance abusers yet there they were, ready to kill this man because they wouldn’t accept the fact that he raped someone else. They hated that crime yet they also committed their own crimes…”

I just remained silent. Working for 13 years in the prison, I learned about that and never understood at the beginning of such behavior. But when I read more about God’s truth, I knew He was right! 

That we, humans, are quick to trust in ourselves and think how righteous we are! And how we despise others! When in reality, it is only God Who can help us be righteous. No one can enter God’s Kingdom if he is full of himself. One needs to come to God with humility and trust.

I hardly see improvement from the lives of these incarcerated individuals. Not until they recognize that each of them has committed crimes, and that in truth, there is really no one better than the other. The fact is they have all broken the laws.

For it is only by recognizing one’s sins and depending on God’s mercy (by acknowledging what Jesus has done on the cross to save humanity), one can enter His Kingdom. 

Not by one’s own merit…
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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].