I was working at my desk today, totally immersed in my project when I suddenly hear it. From the other side of the wall came a wail so heart wrenching you could feel the pain of its owner. The deep sobs and mournful cries made me want to reach through the wall that separated my office from the Intensive Care Unit and offer comfort.
But, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't just walk into ICU to track who was emitting those pitiful sounds. So, I stopped what I was doing and prayed for that anonymous person. It's my guess their loved one was dying or had just died. It's a scene that is repeated hour after hour, day after day in a hospital but when you don't work in the clinical areas, sometimes you forget that this is the place of life...and death. It is the place of healing as well, but not always.
On the other side of my office wall there are patients struggling to live. From time to time I hear beeps of machines, moans and unidentifiable noises but never in my 8 years there have I heard this kind of weeping and despair before. So, I prayed for courage and strength for them. I prayed for that unknown person with the broken heart. I prayed for the Lord to wrap His arms around them in comfort. The sobs did not last long. Within a few minutes they faded and once again I was aware of the ordinary noises of my office setting.
But, I don't want to ever become so focused on my work again that I forget that just on the other side of my office wall are real people, with real souls trying to live...or preparing to die. Each and every morning from now on I will offer a prayer for them.