Walking Together

“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” – Amos 3:3 (NLT)

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There was a new, long bridge and I couldn’t find the train tracks anymore where a long train would pass by. It would run at the slowest pace with its miles of cars linked together. I used to wait…And wait…Until I only had a few minutes spared to be in that rehabilitation center on time.

My confidence to relieve the evening nurse a little early, actually, the day nurse, who volunteered to stay until I  got there, was slowly fading. Swallowing a sip of water, I decided to make a phone call and had advised her that I felt I was lost and made the wrong turn to this unfamiliar road that led to a huge, commercial building on one side. Yet, I couldn’t see the prison. She started guiding me. Reassured me it wasn’t my fault because the direction from the bridge had a confusing sign that many at the beginning also made that wrong turn. She was excited that I had been chosen to float there. And in that short reliving of memories, I found the old, long road that brought me back many shifts I had gone through. All by myself then. But now, they have some help with an extra LVN to be able to accomplish more tasks like passing meds and checking blood sugar levels of many inmates who had health issues.

I was usually a calm person but I had to admit, I was startled when a female deputy was watching me from a dimly lit guard house on my left corner as I was trying to figure out what to do on a nearby phone for someone to let me in. She seemed to be enjoying the whole show. Of watching a confused nurse who didn’t know where to go and how to be let in. She motioned for me to a particular gate. I cracked a smile and thanked her and told her I used to work in that facility for many years. Except…everything seemed new to me.

Our main prison was back to its old problem. Of having staffing shortage. With both RN’s and LVN’s. Everyone seemed to  be getting burned out from either working extra or doing more work than what they were expected to. Sometimes, the choice was forgotten. One just had to do a particular task. Whether they liked it or not. Health care of incarcerated inmates was always the priority. No matter what.

The LVN who was working with me that night was previously working with us at the main detention. I hadn’t seen her in years. But I remembered her well... Dedicated to her work and always helped out the whole crew if there was a need. But that was how our crew was. Always helping each other. Sharing stories and with the comfort of gathered meals brought from home at quiet times, we all had  great working relationships that worry was out the door on those busy nights.

We hugged each other. And throughout the night, she patiently showed me around and where to get the things I needed if any medical emergency arose. By dawn, she invited me to go to the north side. Where they housed the inmates with minor violations. I remembered it was a tough ride in the provided car. It had to go up a dark hill, where many jack rabbits often crossed the road unexpectedly. Rumors were flying that rattle snakes abound. Proven when an inmate was bitten on his foot. Back then, inmates were allowed to roam. No one would dare to escape. For they knew, there was no place to go to as it was surrounded by miles and miles of barren, parched areas. 

What a change it was for me! To see two deputies than just one guarding now all the inmates who were locked in. She gave the medications to a particular inmate and back to the parked, service car we went. 

“Look! Nurse Rcubes!” she uttered.

“Isn’t it beautiful to see those stars shining and be able to to see the beautiful sunrise. You know, I enjoy that every morning…”

I was gazing at her the whole time she was holding on to the steering wheel and occasionally looked up to marvel at the heavenly bodies she described.

I saw her patience, her sincerity in welcoming an old working relationship be brought alive. Her passion to serve the inmates and be harmonious with the other custody staff. Her ability to see the beauty despite the barren area surrounding the old rehab center. I knew…

Her light was more beautiful than those stars. Shining ever brightly and untiringly doing its purpose.

How I prayed…to always be in near proximity to the Light and be able to reflect Its radiance. For all to see. Such a simple beauty. To see even a tiny light bring peace and joy in dark, remote areas.
Anyone can accomplish that…by walking with God. In harmony. And in intimacy shared day by day. To know Him, to please Him. For Him to become one’s heart’s desire…

Thank you,” I told the LVN. 

Thank you for being patient and teaching me things here that are new to me. I know…I’ll probably be sent back. But I will always be willing to float here.”

Because of you…

“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22 (NLT)

The 90 Year Old Lady

But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do. And that work is to tell the good news about God’s great kindness.~ Acts 20:24 (CEV)

“Nice waiting area…” I thought to myself. As I waited for what seemed to be forever minutes. I arrived early prior to my xrays. Good thing I left from my house early. The first place I had checked out the day prior turned out to be not the right place and the confused lady at the desk checked her computer for schedules and directed me to go across the street at their other facility. I kept going around. In circles. Positive I was in the right place. Still…I’d seen throngs of cars parked. I couldn’t locate the building. Determined to get on the exit, I glanced on my left side. Only to find out I was indeed in the right medical plaza. Except the name of the building I needed to go to was facing the east while I was going in circles on the west side.

An older lady sat next to me. Struck a conversation and wanted to know why I wasn’t wearing a jacket as she noticed everyone else was in layers. Complaining she was very cold herself. I wasn’t sure what to say except…I was just not cold. She told me I was a lot younger anyway than most of the people in the waiting area. I thanked her. As I added that I might look young except I sometimes felt I was  “90”. 

“Honey, I am 90!” she exclaimed. Without sounding offended. More of a reassurance that I wasn’t there yet. She looked good for her age. The strength she displayed as she took her steps while returning her paper works at the desk. Just would not show her age.

I felt I needed to explain. Why I said that. That I had been working nights for 25 years. As she asked where I worked, her eyes shone with excitement as she discovered a similarity between us, having worked in a hospital. 

She said she wished people wouldn’t have a long life. Adding if not the memory other things would fail. To which I was quick to reply that “Life is a beautiful gift…” The way she had shown. With grace. With every strand of white hair displaying wisdom and experience gained in the normal process of aging. As she motioned her wrinkled but strong hands as she talked, I sensed the time those hands were invested with things that had more meaning, as each waning moment became a reminder to her still sharp mind.

I felt sadness with being interrupted from that great conversation. As the xray tech loudly called my name and her eyes scanning among the people sitting in front of her.

I had finished my xrays, a lot shorter than what I had waited for. I was still thinking of the lady. And the longing for her to have her race be finished. She reminded me…

How all humans are in a race. Some days are easy. Some are not. One may run or walk. But the destination is the same. The only difference is the manner of finishing the set race and the road a person is walking on.

White Coat Syndrome

Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? – Exodus 15:11 (NIV)

I haven’t blogged. For a while now. It’s not because I don’t want to. But more of a hunger for a retreat. Away from all circumstances going on around me. In the world. In the country. In the county. In the city where I live. I haven’t worked as much either. So I have lesser contacts with potential patients who are incarcerated. Lesser contacts with co-workers who might or might not like each other. Yet…

I will never stop conversing with God. Daily. It will be foolish to take even a minute break away from Him. 

So…I pray everyone is doing well. I perceive. Each one of us is always walking in different depths of the valleys in our journeys. But God has promised. He will never leave nor forsake those who love Him.

I glanced at the calendar. Always surprised that another year had gone by. Another month, well, couple of months by now, had slipped like sand through my fingers. It was time to see my primary doctor for routine follow ups of my blood pressure as I have a history of high blood pressure.
He knew. My BP readings have been normal at home. But for weird reasons, the readings were always up whenever I went to his office. The nurse was baffled that my BP would be high then would go down by a few points with a split second of her re-pumping the cuff. I never believed in “white coat syndrome.” I often told them as they smiled, making sure I was completely asymptomatic every time the reading was opposite to my usual good, fun mood.

White coat syndrome is a condition where a person’s blood pressure is elevated in clinical settings but not somewhere else. Like mine. High there. Normal at home.

“I’m not even nervous. But I admit,” I told the nurse… “I often think about how high it would be by the time I was leaving home to see them.”

Despite attempting some relaxation techniques with a few minutes to spare in my car, the BP was high. Last week though, even though it was high, it was a much better reading compared to the past ones. 

I had my doctor for many years. He knew me. If any symptoms, I was always quick to either phone him or make an effort to see him right away.

Feeling more relaxed as I got home after that follow up appointment, I took another BP reading. It was normal and way low compared to what was obtained at the doctor’s office. I knew…There has to be anxiety involved deep in me though I might not feel nervous at all.

It is scary. To think that there are no possible symptoms for a person who has high blood pressure. A lot of times, such symptoms are caught when it is time for a doctor’s physical exam.

I can’t imagine myself. A sinner. Who needs a constant follow up by the Greatest Physician Whose white Light is pure. There as I wait in peace and quiet, I know things I might not be aware of that can harm me will be exposed in His light. 

I am grateful for my doctor who is concerned with my health problems. And I am so much more grateful for my Physician, my Healer Who is always reminding me that not all things outside of His place are always beneficial for my spiritual health. 

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].