In 2001, I was admitted to the hospital every couple of weeks to receive treatment. Because I was seventeen and still considered a minor, and because I received treatment at a county hospital, I shared a room with three other little ones and their parents. If you didn’t know, nights at a hospital are far from peaceful. There’s the constant beeping of machines, the nurses stabbing you awake with a needle to draw blood, constant poking, checking blood pressures and heartbeats, toilets flushing due to the nonstop pumping of fluids, and doctors coming and going and talking to you or others around you as though it was day. If the sounds and poking didn’t keep you awake, the crying did.
I remember one night when I found myself asleep in the midst of all the noise, I woke up to a boy crying in the bed next to mine. “Me duele, me duele,…” It was dark and I didn’t know what was happening behind the curtain dividers. He continued crying me duele, me duele, and no one seemed to be able to console him. At seventeen, I was able to tolerate pain and discomfort, but it was different for the little ones. They had no idea what was happening and why they were there, and how could they know how to endure such pain. His cries broke my heart. His words broke my heart, and I prayed,
Lord, please, the boy is hurting. Please take away his pain...
Now when I lie awake at night thinking about prayers and tomorrow’s plans, sometimes I think of the little children in hospitals and hear echoes of me duele. I pray for the children. I pray the Lord will give the children in hospitals a peaceful and painless night. To comfort their little bodies, to wipe away their tears, to let them hear His voice.
To give them hope.