Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: A MIGHTY FORTRESS (don't write about the song) (04/23/15)
- TITLE: His Vessel of Freedom~
By C D Swanson
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As a person of faith, I’d make every effort to maintain a code of ethics at all times. Sometimes, it was difficult to do the right thing for fear of reprisal. However, it was a conviction, and love of God that would override any upcoming repercussions that might possibly jeopardize my job security…or even the innocuous label of “whistle blower.”
It was while doing a nightly spot check that catapulted my faith into overdrive. I heard crying and followed the unsettling sound. It was at the South side of the building where I found a female resident hysterical. Upon seeing me she raised her arms up as I rushed to her. She grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. She clung tenaciously for the longest time. I provided comfort where I could. And, eventually, she let go. However, she didn't want me to leave the room. After sitting with her for an hour, she fell asleep holding my hand. I noticed her nightgown was wet and had attributed it to her copious tears.
After witnessing that scene I began an active investigation into what I strongly felt was abuse. The feeling that came over me that night was powerfully intense. A feeling of warmth had spread throughout my body. I knew it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to go forward with this issue. And, of course, I did.
After bringing my concerns to the CEO, and meeting with the board, I was met with an overwhelmingly unanimous icy response. They worried about their reputation more than the alleged abuse at the facility. I was sickened by their callous behavior, but didn't back down. I felt God leading me, touching me, and guiding me.
Every time I'd visit this female resident in room 109, she’d cling to me. And, each time I was with her, I'd feel the presence of the Holy Spirit more powerful than the last.
After a meeting with my staff members, each one more afraid than the last to speak fearing for their jobs, I had become slightly frustrated, but nonetheless, all the more determined. Finally, one brave person came forward to be a witness to what had happened. He explained that my suspicions were correct. The employee was roughing up this resident, yelling, pulling her hair, and usually finished off by throwing ice water in her face. I had this individual sign a release form, and promised he wouldn’t be discharged. I offered him anonymity, and only if necessary, would I use his name. He said he wouldn’t have a problem using his name openly should there be a need.
I wrote an official report to the state with a copy to the CEO. I could still see his face turning red as he slammed his fist on the desk. "You’ve no idea what you've just unleashed here. You and your stupid morals…"
I left with a profound sense of peace knowing I’d protected this resident from humiliation, and fear of being abused nightly. I'd followed the narrow path in terms of God's will and direction.
The employee was fired after the investigation and criminal charges of elderly abuse were brought against her. It was about ten days later that I was fired. The pink slip stated: Discharged: Negligent in duties required of a Director. The sheer irony was I'd just gotten a raise four weeks prior, along with stellar reviews for being an exemplary employee/director.
I went in to say goodbye to the resident...she sat up and hugged me tightly, and kissed my hands. She pointed upward and nodded her head. I felt she was trying to tell me God had protected her by using me as his vessel to deliver her from her abuser. I was truly blessed to have been in His service.
When I left the building that day I was replete with peace. You see, I'd always known that our Lord is often referred to as our Mighty Fortress. But, in the aftermath of what had transpired, it was solidified ten times over in my heart and soul…
Note: This is a true story that happened to me as Director. The employee who was a witness left on his own after finding employment elsewhere, he didn't want to be part of an organization that was so cavalier about abuse. I found a job within two weeks of dismissal, in the same capacity as Director of the facility. The new job God put me into gave me endless opportunities to change the lives of residents, family members, and employees. It is an infinite honor, gift and blessing to be used as His vessel. So, God is good, all the time God is good. Praise to our Mighty Fortress and Lord of lords...Amen,
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