“Stand on the red-painted feet,” the officer ordered. “Don’t smile. This is not Sears Portrait Studio.” With my feet now on the red feet, I stood in front of a massive glass wall looking at a funny camera peeking through its side.
It was still early. An already-stressed-out officer came to my cell door. “Torres, get your jumpsuit on. We are going to take you to get your picture taken.” I quickly put on my shirt, socks, jumpsuit, and shoes. With a quick splash of water, I ran my fingers through my ever-growing hair. I was all set.
After two hours of delays and unexpected hurdles, I was finally taken from the holding cell to the photo department. Because I was an inmate from Ad Seg (the Hole), the path had already been cleared by several officers. Once inside, the officer gave me the order to stand on the red-painted feet. With my hands still cuffed behind my back I obeyed.
I stood there for about two minutes wondering when the bulb would snap. As I stood there, I overheard the conversation about me on the other side of the tinted-glass wall. “It’s a hassle bringing an Ad-Segger to take a picture,” the officer from the Hole was complaining to the officer behind the computer. “Why does Torres need a picture? His ID picture looks just fine.”
“Look at his old picture.” I assumed he was looking at the computer. “And then look at him now.” I figured he was pointing at the monitor that had my current image on it. “He has purposely altered his image.” I just couldn’t hold back a smile. I wanted to chuckle at his comment, but I knew I was not allowed to speak or make noise. So I contented myself with a slight grin. It was obvious he saw me because he told me not to smile because it wasn’t Sears. My smile quickly melted away, but inside the reason for the smile was still there. I wondered about the IQ of this officer. I had not purposely altered my image at all. The hair on my head and my facial hair had grown out because I had no access to hair trimmers. It was a consequence of being in the Hole.
We who are in the Hole grow hair – it’s what we do. And naturally our looks change. Yet, this officer had to understand my current caveman image would change again – sooner than he thought. What he didn’t know was that now that I had a cellmate, by rule we would share a shower for a total of ten minutes. As a single-celled person, I would only receive a total of five minutes to shower and shave. Yes, a total of five minutes! But now my cell mate and I would each get five minutes, and because we were in the shower stall at the same time, our total was ten minutes. While I used my five minutes to shower, he shaved. Then we would switch, and I would get five minutes to shave while he showered.
Since I knew one of my three weekly showers was falling on that day, I had already planned to shave all my facial hair. The officer who was updating my photo would actually find out I would need another. And that’s why I smiled.
As I write this I sport absolutely no facial hair, and look nothing like my ID. And it feels weird.
Although I had no bad intentions behind my altered looks, the Bible speaks of one who does change his appearance with evil intentions. The enemy. The devil and his demons will appear to us in many shapes and forms. He is the master of deception. And he will use the things around us to distract us from our walk with the Lord. The Bible says the devil will appear as “an angel of light.” But most of the time he will come to us through life’s daily events. He is a master at offering counterfeits, and hiding the truth, for he is the father of lies.
How do we see who is behind the mask? We must continue in truth – God’s Word. We must continue developing a true relationship with the One Who has no falsehood. And by knowing the truth, we will be able to identify what is false.
Be “on” guard, for the enemy will try to alter his image to catch you “off” guard.
……….enjoying my baby face………
Adrian G. Torres