I stared out my back door window at the approaching storm, feeling very secure that I was excluded from the wrath of the violence that was about to happen.

Suddenly, the lightning briefly illuminated my back yard and bestowed on me a sight that will forever be etched into my memory. Huddled tightly in my bushes was a small frame of a child trying to ward off the enormous energy of a violent world with no hope of winning.

Dressing quickly I ran to see what I did not want my heart to believe. Barely breathing, and beat beyond what I would consider humanly possible, was a young child, still clinging to the last string of the strength that is dominant in all of us.

Panic stricken, I rushed the child into the comfort of my home. After taking off his wet clothes and laying him on the couch I noticed the numerous bruises and cuts on his small frame. Chocking back tears, I called the police and the ambulance.

My small living room was soon filled with policemen and the EMT crew. Questions were asked of me and I could only tell them what I found. I did not know this child and had never seen him in this neighborhood before. I watched as the medic attached an oxygen cup to his mouth and nose. I noticed the blue tinge that always accompanies someone who is having difficulty with breathing. My heart was racing and a knot swelled in my throat, as tears that I previously concealed, rolled down my cheek like the falling rain.

I asked the one question that is very common to ask, "Will he be alright?" Silence followed, and with a heavy tug to my heart, I knew that this was one of these cases where there was no hope.

The rain had stopped and I was trying to hurry to the hospital, knowing that I could not keep up with the ambulance, but I was trying . By the time I had reached the emergency room, they had him in one of the small rooms and the medical crew were working quickly and quietly on him. I was ushered to the waiting room, with the assurance that after they were finished with their many duties, I could come in and be with the child.

It seemed like hours before a nurse came to get me. I could see in her clear blue eyes that the child would not make it, although she did not say it. My heart was beating out a fast and pounding beat against my rib cage. I saw him lying there, so very pale , with no signs of life in his small body.

Taking one of his small hands in mine, I let the tears fall. I said a silent prayer for this child, as I brushed the hair from his forehead tenderly.

"How could someone abuse a child and send them out into this cold cruel world alone like this?" I asked silently with so much anger in my heart.

As the thought of the many horrors that this child may have been through in his tender age , finding out that he could not be over 3 or 4 years old, I looked down at his tender, sweet face and heard him give a sigh of relief, and the small hand that I was holding became very limp.

I bent down to his small face and whispered in unhearing ears, "Now you will forever have sweet dreams."