Friday, May 18, 2012

They are sick, and we visit them

Warning...if you are squeamish, you might not want to look at one or more of these pictures.
I really am not cut out for this...visiting the hospital that is. I look inside myself, and there is fear and a total lack of confidence before trying to talk our way past the checkpoints that leads to asking permission from the nursing/doctoral staff to talk to the kids in Hospital Escuela.
Each time God gets us through all the potential problems right there to see all these kids. We give them some toys, coloring book pages, Christian literature, and prayer.
I find it difficult to process:
1. That when I great the always just slips out of my mouth “How are you doing!” which on paper seems like a really stupid question. Yet...every one of them, even the kids I have seen dying before my eyes answers...even weakly or through the pain “good.”
2. That when we take toys to kids...many of them are more concerned that we pray for them. We usually give everyone a toy first, while I start talking with the kids bed to bed. If we miss there bed to pray...or if they think we are...I often get a loud call from them.
3. How many parents sacrifice so much for so long to be there with their child...weeks or longer, most having to sleep on the floor in the entrance overnight because they are not allowed to stay in the ward.
4. How many kids have no parent there with them for such long stretches...remembering how scared I was for one night when I was seven in the hospital a room by myself. I had TV, food, and AC. These kids often have no entertainment, little food, and uncomfortable conditions...not to mention that most rooms have four to 30 children in them.
5. How continually shocking it is to see children that have been abandoned there (it shocks me every time...but thankfully is not terribly common.)
6. Seeing kids I recognize...which means they have been there for a long time.  There have been too many kids here too long over the years. I did not get to visit him, just saw him from the hall as I was leading my group from one area to another...but he has been in the hospital for five months now. We shared glances of acknowledgement with each other. The kind that says “you are still here?” and “yep, I am still here.” but in such a way that he was encouraging me and I was encouraging him in some kind of non-verbal, weird, smiling way.  
7. Kids in the hallways. We visited the very newly remodeled kids with cancer ward, and while the inside was beautifully remodeled (unlike most areas of the hospital, this one has a foundation that holds fundraisers regularly...this is the second time I have seen this area remodeled, versus virtually none for most of the other areas) there were still kids waiting on stretchers outside.
8. How I fear and lack confidence in what I am doing while there...and yet there is such a clear conviction of what God is doing through us when we go...the heartfelt prayers and such a thirst for prayer from kids we will likely never see again this side of Heaven...the smiles from such frail, broken, hurt bodies...the tears and hugs from broken parents.
So what do I do with all that? I have to turn to the Scriptures:
Proverbs 18:14 A man's spirit will endure sickness,but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Matthew 25:35-40   35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
And especially, most definitely...Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  

1 comment:

Michael Kane said...

It was a real blessing to read this article and see the pics. Wish I could have been there with you. Keep it up. We really enjoy reading your blog. Michael and Patty Kane