Be Not Forgotten

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I barely started the 4 hours I committed last night to help the short night crew, when the Charge Nurse handed a medical chart and requested if I could see a pregnant female prisoner. Already on her way from her unit. Complaining of increasing contractions and back pain. She was on her later term of pregnancy. 39 ½ weeks to be exact. Anticipating an eminent arrival of a newborn baby, I prepared the Labor and Delivery Kit, a sterilized package that housed the needed things in case she delivered in the jail. 

We called for an ambulance. I saw her grimaced as I asked her to try to walk and be transferred to the exam table instead of sitting on the waiting area. So the IV and oxygen could be started. We heard her trying to push.

“Oh no! Don’t push! Try to concentrate on your breathing,” I commanded, as I touched her upper back and reassured her.

“Trying to relax is the best you can do. I know it’s not easy. But you are not fully dilated yet. We’re just waiting for the ambulance so you can get the better care at the hospital.”

“Thank you,” she uttered. As the wave of the painful contractions seemed to have come and gone.

It was her first baby. A baby boy she told me. A baby who was sentenced along with her while inside her womb. After birth, the baby would go to her mother to care for him. As she had to be returned to the prison after and served the rest of her sentence…Few months…To maybe a year. It wasn’t only her. Many women, young as she was, entered the prison. Pregnant…Some wanted the babies. Some opted for abortion… Some trapped with the habits of abusing illegal substances. 

“I’m glad you never used street drugs and seldom drank alcohol,” I whispered to her right ear, her back facing me as I continued to coach her with her breathing.

“I hope you’ll get a chance to be out of here to be with your first baby…He is precious,” I added.

She smiled. Alternating with some grimaces. As two paramedics walked in, pushing the guerney and the heavy emergency bag. I started cleaning up the exam room as soon as she left. Thinking how awful it was. That she wasn’t alone in her suffering. But the baby had to face that, too… All I could do was pray. For her and the precious gift God had given her. For her to be able to go home…And be able to make her remember how it would be like…To be a loving mother to her first child…And make that child… BE NOT FORGOTTEN like the other children…Born by their incarcerated mothers… 

I prayed…for her to be a loving mother like how God was and always is…to His children…
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. – Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)
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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].