The 'Clicking Jaw'

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. – Psalm 119:130 (NLT)

“Can you see this inmate complaining that her jaw is stuck?” asked one of the units where they housed female prisoners.

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“Send her down!” I uttered over the phone. 

With my readied pen, I took her booking number and started probing more regarding her medical or mental history. Glancing at past and future appointments from the monitor in front of me, it was easy to see that she was seen recently by the prison’s dentist and she was also seen by the Mental Health Services. I got up and searched for her medical chart from the thousands filed in the metal bins. Right in the middle of the Infirmary.

“What was the complaint, Rcubes?” asked one of the nurses working with me that night.

“The unit said that the inmate’s jaw is stuck. Either she has jaw problem but she also has mental health issues,” I responded.

“I’ll see her,” I added as I only worked 4 hours that night to help out the short staff. I could see that nurse already tired from working not even half of her 12 hour shift. I wanted to help her knowing she was one of those who worked hard and never needed to be told on what to do.

She sat quietly as I looked through the glass partition window. Her long hair, slightly disheveled, lacking gloss. Her orange, prison-issued uniform slightly loose from her thin frame. I let her in to start asking about her complaint. I felt her jaw clicking on the left side as if the jaw bones were grating against each other. With that, she complained of increasing pain, barely able to open the mouth fully. I knew well ahead of time, prior to her arrival that the dentist already had scheduled her for a specialist consult regarding this problem. Except…the wait always took a long time. Month…Depending on that Specialty Clinic’s availability.

“You had been seen already for this problem and in fact, the dentist had already requested for an OMFS referral…” I stopped in the middle of my explanation…Realizing she might not understand what I just said. It was just not her “lingo”. OMFS… Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery…Who would know? If that person didn’t have a medical background.

“Oh, God!” I prayed in my mind as she kept her eye contact with me.

“Help me explain it to her in easier ‘layman’ terms…”

“Ma’am…” I continued as I tried to gather my thoughts, praying still at the back of my mind for His help and wisdom…

“You just need to be patient because our dentist had already requested for an appointment for you to see the doctor who specializes in treating diseases for your jaw…But our dentist can’t do anything not until that doctor’s office give her the schedule or “go signal” for your case. If the Motrin is not helping you for pain, I will schedule you to see our dentist tomorrow so maybe you can ask her if it’s okay for you to get a stronger dose of pain medication as you wait for that appointment.” 

The words kept coming…I had to inhale and replenished my lungs hungry for air. As she sat there in front of me…Quietly…So still…

She got up and thanked me. She said she understood better that she needed to be patient and that her jaw, despite the pain, was not life-threatening. She admitted her long Methamphetamine abuse. The last day she quit was on the day she was arrested. That could have killed her than this ‘jaw problem’…

She heard the loud ‘click’ from the heavy, metal door. Signifying I opened it as her more calm demeanor exited. The anxious look on her face was replaced with a slight, grateful smile as she opened her right palm to receive the small envelope I stuffed with some packets of Motrin to help her for the pain, despite the slight relief, until she would see the dentist in the morning…Her shadow was long gone but deep in my heart, I knew…She got it…Because of her ‘clicking jaw’, the demanded visit made her understand the reality of waiting for everything in perfect timing. It clicked…Because simple words needed to be explained…So they could be understood.

And how true it is for all of us!!! If we approach the Bible, His truth, as lay persons…Just be stillRead with open minds…And hearts…And as one’s understanding of God’s truth starts ‘clicking’…it will be so clear…how much He loves everyone…Ahhh…The wonders of His redeeming love
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].