The Work Crew

The need had been great...With our work’s staffing. The shortage caused by some nurses fired and others who had chosen to leave. Burdened by politics. If not, overwhelmed with work that should have been done by more nurses ended up with themselves tackling on their own.
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She was another Per Diem. Like me. Occasionally picking up shifts to help out. Like I usually did. She enjoyed the particular crew I usually worked with. Despite the shortage, we managed. Though overwhelmed, we learned to survive. Because we tried to help out each other. Whatever way we could.
Like her. She might be a new nurse. But she was an awesome learner. Easily learned the trade. 

Except… She was a little afraid to hear that Per Diem’s would start to float to Intake to relieve the regular nurses who were getting burned out. Intake…Where officers from so many cities would bring their arrestees. And with sicker population, the place could be like a big tornado. Ready to devastate an otherwise quiet night. Especially if arrestees would admit that they had medical and mental health issues.
We encouraged for her to taste and see how it was like. To be there on her first night not on her own but with another hardworking nurse. Who could teach her the ropes. To enable her to survive. And perhaps, lessen and vanish her fear. And she did try

I saw her last Sunday.  The Charge Nurse had sent me to help her check on the suicidal inmates and logged on the list, instead of her. So she could catch up with her charting. I was met with a huge smile. And I sensed a diminished anxiety. I could feel she was getting more comfortable in that busy place. 

“I don’t mind coming to work here now,” she uttered.

“Because no matter how busy, all of you help me,” she added.

“That’s the way it should be. You help us out, too,” I replied.

“Yeah…I guess if you’re in the right group, though busy, it doesn’t seem like it…” 

She thanked me. And I thanked her back. We said our “goodbyes” knowing that we would see each other again in the days to come. We felt good knowing that we were working with those nurses who never complained and accepted each challenge to the best ability they could. We would never fear knowing that no matter the circumstance, someone would always back us up and would easily give us that extra hand that we didn’t have. We smiled at each other despite hearing some drunk inmates housed in a nearby “sobering cells”, yelling and banging on the metal doors and glass windows. We were not fazed by their threats. I knew she discovered…There was really no room to be “an expert” in that place. Not even to be smart. Nor strong. Nor familiar with procedures or policies…For a new and fresh trial could come in from that big, fenced yard. Anytime. Any day.  And help would be there…From this whole crew…And in unity…that was where the strength came.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17 (ESV)

Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor. – Proverbs 22:9 (NLT)

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. – Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. – Matthew 25:35-36 (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].