A few months ago I answered a call. It was a friend who told me that her niece’s three-year-old son was in
the hospital and that the doctors did not give her much hope. Her message to me was this: “My niece is
asking you to pray for her son. Anna, please come and pray for him.” (I had already prayed for the little
one when I met him. He lived with a difficult disability and had almost no mobility in his little body).
My friend had been a part of the population that we serve in the ministry.
That same day I made my way to the hospital. It was very difficult to enter because he was in an intensive
care room and they only allowed 1 person in the room with him at a time. When I arrived, his mother
recognized me and she told me how hopeful and expectant she was of my prayers, and the weight on my
shoulders increased. I went in and saw him all hooked up to machines and to tubes. He was only wearing
a diaper because of his fever. He could hear, although at his young age I do not know if he would
remember me. I was afraid to touch him, he looked so fragile and sore. I knew I had to pray, I said to
myself, “This is why you’re here.” But the image of the little one like that, with short, agitated breaths
and so thin that you could make out many of his bones and ribs, did not make it easy for me to pray.
I wanted to take him in my arms, maybe that way he would be more comfortable. But that old iron crib,
haphazardly painted, dressed with cold, sterile sheets, reminded me quickly that I was in a hospital.
I reached down and touched the hand of my little friend and I cried out to God for him. I think the boy heard me because he stirred even more, and I imagined that he wanted to get out of there, to be unhooked from all of the medical equipment keeping him alive and be free from the bars of the crib.
When I came out of the room, his mother expressed how comforted she was knowing that I could see her
son and that I prayed for him. I said to myself, “Lord, have mercy on the little one, do not take into
account who asks you, do it for that child who really suffers.” On one of my subsequent visits, I saw tears
running down the little one’s cheeks, but he wasn’t making a sound. I supposed that perhaps his strength
was fading and he could not help but mourn in silence. Those days were hard. I saw his mother cry, I
talked about God with her, I listened to her, but there were also moments of silence and with the few
times I was there, I kept thinking that I should do more.
The days passed and the little one got worse. He convulsed and was no longer responding to his
treatments, but we continued to pray. I contacted many who sent words of encouragement, including
a pastor from Santo Domingo who sent some shepherding and comforting words. Other friends offered help to pay expenses and many prayed for the little from a distance. One afternoon I spoke very close to his ear and I think he heard me. I called him by his name and with great effort, he opened his eyes briefly! I told him that everything would pass, and in my frustration and sadness to see him like that, I just started singing to him, a song that I improvised, one that said:
“God loves you, he is here, Your mom loves you, and you will be fine,
God loves you, you are beautiful, you are beautiful, so beautiful and courageous, God loves you and he is here, your mom loves you and you will be fine… ”
I returned for several days at different times, trying to be useful in some way. Eventually, the doctors
would only let family into the room where they had him, but his mom would come out, even have me
sneak into a waiting room nearby. She wanted me to be near. They told me that the little one was calmer,
he was only sleeping but he did not have as much pain anymore. His mom prayed with him and we
prayed together too.
After everything, my little friend left us. He did not heal but eventually rested from his pain. He left to be
with the Lord. His mother is very young and she tried to hide her sadness many times. But she would not
eat and spent days looking after her son until he left.
Honestly, I thought my presence there was not what the boy’s mother expected, because he was not
healed (I know it’s not right to think like that, but that’s what I thought). That afternoon my friend called
me with the news and asked me to go the hospital anyway, saying that her niece wanted to talk to me. I
arrived and she was exhausted, she was not crying, but you could tell she was disarmed; her and her boy’s
struggle was over.
I kept my distance because did not want to disturb her, but she approached me and said, “Thank you!
Thank you for being here, you are more than family, you were here for my son, you were here for me.
Thank you for praying for my son, I know that God was with Him, I know that He took care of Him in
everything. Your words showed me what I had not seen. I looked at the pain of the child and I did not see
God with him in the midst of the pain, I asked for healing when God was already comforting him.
All that time of sadness, this young mother summed it up in a “Thank you! Thank you for the prayers,
thank you for the presence, thank you for the comfort.”
In this time of celebration in which we will remember that Jesus came to us, let us remember that His
presence in our lives can touch others, it can comfort others. His presence in us can make us sing a song,
can make us family for those who do not have any.
God in Jesus has been born and has promised to be with us to the end! Mt. 28: 16-20
Let us remember this truth at this time and let us tell it to others.