The Hard Icing

I heard a new thing last night as I quickly glanced at the pile of paper plates, plastic forks and knives and a big box containing a medium sized, beautifully iced cake, placed on the desk by the Supervisor’s by one of our co-workers. I heard the head of our department started giving cakes every month to celebrate those who had birthdays for that particular month. As in last night…April’s celebrants… Whoever they may be…

The growing pang of hunger and the sight and smell of a freshly pot of brewed coffee were taking roots in my mind and stomach as we all labored and continuously kept hitting the doctors’ orders, trying to finish them. A couple of big bins. Despite the shortage of staff, it was always a pleasure to work with this particular crew I always worked with. Everyone just kept working. Even as we all started getting a piece and a cup of coffee, we all shared jokes, stories, and sometimes, unwelcomed grapevine tried to mix in. Yet, everyone went back to their own computer station. Answering phone calls that joined the chaotic night and seeing many hospital returns that were sent earlier to the county’s ER after different fights broke from different units.

“I wanna’ warm up this icing!” 

All of a sudden, this nurse yelled loudly and everyone looked at her with puzzled expressions as most people would want their “cakes” cold. Especially with good frostings.

“Why?” asked the Supervisor.

“Because the icing seems to be hard already…”

“Yeah! But it’s good!” added another co-worker. She turned to where I was sitting and in a quiet voice said, “We hid it in our refrigerator, Rcubes. ‘Coz we had a potluck that night we got that cake so it was just too much to be eaten with the other food.”

By then, no one was paying attention. There was no soul at that moment thinking about healthy eating habits as we all savored the sweetness from the buttercream frosting, despite being slightly hard only to have the teeth sank in a big morsel of white cake.

“That’s nice!” I uttered. For our Administrator to do that. As my mind wandered from years ago. With this same Administrator and other higher-ranking ones I faced myself as they gave me a hard time regarding my position. All the lies I heard over and over. The harsh decision they placed upon me, by demoting me to a Per Diem from working “job sharing with another nurse” for many years. (Which God turned to a blessing, much later as I pondered because after that, they couldn’t force me anymore to work in whatever shifts, in whatever days. The table turned and it was on my advantage as I gave my availability and they couldn’t do anything anymore to hurt me).

It was unsettling for me that many, many good nurses I knew and had worked with for a long time were let go…None from the higher positions seemed to have listened to what each one would say. If there was a problem, there was no immediate solution but either to intimidate a particular person perceived to be the problem or terminate them. It had been going on for years. Even now…

The cake might appeal to senses because it looked so soft and delicate. Until…One took that first bite starting with that hard icing

And as I disposed of the paper plate, I grabbed my pen to go back to putting in the orders from the charts, I thought… how similar that HARDENED ICING was to those hearts coated with pride. They might seem to be good inside…But…

It’s easy to see, with that kind of heart, it would dull that person’s ability to perceive and understand. But even worse, this kind of heart might not recognize right from wrong…

Go for it!” I suddenly told that nurse who wanted to melt the icing.

“If that’s what’s best for your palate, go!” 

She smiled...

(Unknown to her, I prayed...For everyone's hearts working that night to melt in His presence and be able to confess and truly know His grace, love and truth...)

If we confess our sins, he is vfaithful and just to forgive us our sins and rto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9 (ESV)

For the wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore sGod gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves – Romans 1:18-24 (ESV)

The Missed Delivery

Our night crew learned a lesson the hard way. The man from the main pharmacy often would come early mornings on Saturdays to make his delivery. Because he wasn’t an employee in our prison, he would wait for someone from medical staff to pick up the delivery as he waited outside. It would take a while to get there from down below in the Clinic. One had to go up the plight of stairs and through many electronic controlled doors as the main security from our Master Control watched every movement. It was hard around that time when everyone from the Clinic was trying to finish up. Many times, it made it harder when we were usually understaffed. Eyes talked among us on who would be willing to pick up the delivery and meet the man outside.
That was the second advice through a phone call from Master Control. The man was still waiting. Finally, one volunteered as nurses were tied up anyway doing sick calls. By the time our co-worker showed up, the man had started his car’s engine and she saw the smoke that formed from a car that sped up and she saw was already turning on a corner. Too late for the man to see her. And it took a while for that man to come back I heard that night I showed up again for work. I also heard he had other deliveries that needed to be accomplished and that was the first time I found out. I thought he was only bringing stuff we needed from the hospital’s pharmacy only to us. Passing ordered meds that day I heard were all late. But it was our fault for not meeting the man, as soon as we got the first call that he was out there waiting.

It had been many months since that time. Many Saturdays had come and gone. But one thing was sure... One was always ready to get that phone call and go up the stairs right away. Signed the forms and wheeled the carts back loaded with many items back to the Clinic. 

It’s true. You don’t know the worth until either something is lost or one doesn’t heed to the urgency of a need or call.

May no one misses God’s call. For that gracious offer of forgiveness. And while Jesus waits (He only has eternity), there might come a time when He might not be there… One just need to seek and show up…He’s waiting…for anyone to come and meet Him…

Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you." Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:5-7

It's Better To Die...

Sadness wrapped my heart after I read the last word from a short email my cousin had sent me, thousands of miles away. She informed me about one of our aunt’s passing and I immediately had a flashback of all memories with every short visit I had paid when my own father was alive and my mother, too. Her husband was my father’s brother and they were both close to him. There was never a day when my father was dying that her and my uncle’s presence was missing. They cheered up my dad. They offered spoonfuls of meals she cooked to his parched mouth. They encouraged my brothers and I and helped us also cared for my dad prior to us arriving one by one from different places of this world. When my brothers and I dozed off without our knowledge as weariness won over some nights, or days, they were there to keep my father company.

I knew the truth. Only memories we created and their love remained. I would miss the laughter we all shared. The home-cooked meals that abound as we all gathered in my father’s table. The catching up to fill the void of what was missed during those times we were all apart.

Most of my uncles and aunties have passed away, along with my parents. Living day to day would never be the same without them. There would always be a void of different shapes in my heart. Only each of them could fill. 

This Sunday, my heart is joyful despite the sad news. For the hope Jesus had given to this fallen place. Because of His love and mercy, He died to give life to those who believe in Him. His nailed, outstretched arms, welcoming anyone with broken and true repentant hearts to His cross. What seemed to be a cruel and undeserved punishment was His voluntary submission to what the Father has willed. Like what’s prophesied, it happened. That Jesus died, rose and lived again!!!

Wouldn't you know it? It’s a lot better…to live each day dying…Dying to self…In order to live...

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 (NLT)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. – Romans 5:8 (NLT)
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