NOTE: While I’m writing this post from a Christian perspective, please note that virtually all spiritualities have similar sayings/mores/themes which correspond.
We’ve probably all seen the pictures of children halfway around the world who are starving and living in deplorable conditions. I do agree that if everyone in the US (or any well-developed nation) shared a small amount of their abundance – and yes, it is abundance compared to what most of the world experiences – then those children would see a vastly different future.
But, today, my heart is breaking for the child next door. You know the one. He (or she) is that bratty, snot-nosed kid who talks back to us, runs through our nicely (or not) manicured yards and/or teases our pets/children/etc. She’s the one our kids (or grandkids) don’t want to play with, or associate with in school, because “she smells funny” and/or wears “weird clothes.” They’re the ones with the exasperating parent who never seems to do anything but scream at his/her out-of-control kids (who have heard it all before and just aren’t listening).
What about those kids? Are we aware that poor hygiene may be symptom of sexual abuse? Or – as it was for a boy with whom my son went to school – a severely ill parent? Did we stop to ask ourselves why that boy/girl seems to have a chip on the shoulder all the time? Have we stopped to look at that child with eyes that see a person? A child created in our Creator‘s image? Do we really believe what we claim to believe?
And what about that exasperating parent? Could she/he use a hand? A listening ear? Some time with other adults? Are we helping the situation to the best of our ability? Have we seen something that really should be reported and all attempts to lovingly confront the responsible adult have failed? Are we enabling (and thereby participating in) someone’s dangerous behavior by pretending we don’t see? We are culpable. We are mandated to be actively and practically involved in our worlds. [James 2:15-16, Isaiah 58:6-12 ]
I don’t expect for you to answer to me on any of these questions, indeed, you do not answer to me! But I do hope that they spark some soul-searching in your own hearts, as they have – once again – in mine.
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” [NEW LIVING TRANSLATION 2007]
- Have you listened to your child today? (bethelparenting.wordpress.com)
- What do children learn? (truthwithdoris.wordpress.com)
- Dear God: Can You Hear the Children Crying? (booksbybet.wordpress.com)