The.Babies The.Children The.Precious.Sweet.Little.Ones
How do you address something that grieves you so deeply that you can’t even think about it? Well, basically, I don’t. So when unbearable thoughts gurgle to the surface of my emotions, I often push them to the deep recesses of my heart and mind. They are just too painful to embrace.
But with that comes guilt. Shouldn’t I bring my heartache before the Lord? How can I help if I’m not willing to even think about something? How I can bring value to others who are struggling with the same challenges if I can’t talk about it?
The answers are easy. Yes. I can’t. I can’t.
So I’m determined to take my first step. Today. Now. No matter how much it hurts.
You must know, images are already forming in my head of what I plan to discuss and the tears have begun. I’ve been dreading lowering the walls that guard this part of my heart; the grief is overwhelming.
Only 175 words in and I had to take my first break.
The babies. The innocent children. How can we live our lives, in the lap of luxury by most standards, when precious children of God are Hungry? Neglected. Abused. Hurt. Cold. Thirsty. Alone. Afraid. How can we laugh? Be happy? Eat yummy food? Sleep in comfortable beds? Dance? Go on vacation? Live with excess when so many little ones haven’t even experienced the most basic human care and compassion. When they are sick and dying.
THEY ARE JUST BABIES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. WHY THEM?
What babies am I talking about? All of them! Every single one who isn’t fed, cared for, loved, and protected every day of their sweet little lives. The helpless babies and children who have gone through more hell at 6 months and 6 years than I will ever know in my entire life. My adult mind cannot even imagine what these children have seen or felt. Kids who are battling circumstances, including debilitating and terminal illnesses, which thwart any hope for a fun, carefree childhood.
Some of the precious ones who burden my heart:
- The baby whose picture I saw last year, laying on his tummy on a dirty blanket, big, beautiful eyes staring right at me. I can’t get the image of his little bottom out of my mind. Where a cute little curved rump should be, it was a flat spot with bones protruding and skin hanging off. I cried for days. It would kill me if one of my grandchildren missed a meal, yet this infant has probably never, ever known a full belly. Break three.
- Children, toddlers included, who forage through the disgusting, dirty, nasty dumps in Mexico, India, and other parts of the world, solely in charge of finding their own food. Babies who must scavenge for rotten scraps in an effort to stay alive. Why should they be charged with this? I want to feed them all. Every last one.
- The despicable man who intentionally left his toddler to die in a hot car. The young boy wasn’t much older than my grandson and he wore the same floppy, golden locks. My imagination ran wild with thoughts of what this little boy went through locked in a hot car, screaming with discomfort and panic, suffocated by the heat, organs shutting down. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.
- Beautiful kids lying in hospital beds, with no ability to go outside and play like ‘normal’ kids. They live hooked up to tubes and machines, and endure painful tests and treatments while their helpless parents stand by, praying to God that He allow them to trade places with their son or daughter.
- The 5 and 6 year old babies who come out of the Uganda jungles during the day to villages where food and care is sometimes waiting. They often carry 2 and 3 year old babies on their backs; babies that these kids are taking responsibility for. When the sun sets, they retreat back into the jungle to hide in an effort to find protection and make it through the night. A 5 year old should be in kindergarten with the biggest worry being what color crayon to choose, not in charge of their own well-being, and that of a toddler’s as well.
- The 14 month old little boy in Phoenix who was just killed by his mother’s boyfriend. He had bruises and bite marks all over his tiny, little body. What did this poor little baby endure every day of his short life? Sadness. Confusion. Horrific pain. And when he cried as any normal 14 month old would do, I’m sure the pain inflicted got worse. What a viscous cycle. What animal could do this to a baby? I don’t want my tax dollars feeding, clothing, and sheltering this depraved individual.
- The little boy at daycare who suffered a traumatic brain injury, forever altering his life, when a tree branch fell on his head. He was a vibrant, energetic 2 year old and now is forever confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak or care for himself. I can’t imagine the journey his parents have been on, watching the devastating transition that happened in a split second.
- The 10 year old in AZ who was locked in a footlocker, overnight, as punishment for getting a popsicle from the freezer. She had endured years of abuse from multiple family members and was finally killed because she wanted a cold treat on a scorching hot summer eve.
- The Christian children in the Middle East who are being persecuted, displaced from their homes, and beheaded. They are being viciously attacked at 6, 8 and 10 years of age because of where they live and what they, or their parents, believe. I lose sleep thinking of the cowards who carry out these atrocities.
- The young man, just a few cities over from us, who was just told to ‘live it up’ because he only has a few months left. Why should a teenager have to face such an agonizing reality? Why should his parents have to watch him die?
- The 5 year old little girl who was locked in a dark closet for weeks, starved, hit, hair pulled out, tormented by fear, pain, and despair. Her mother is accused of these vile acts. I think about what this little 5 year old was feeling, sitting in that dark, scary closet day after day. My heart cannot bear the images. She lived just a few miles from me and was just about the same age as my sweet niece. If I knew she was in a closet, I would have saved her. I cried for weeks wishing I had known. While I ate, slept, laughed, enjoyed life, she laid dying just down the street from my home.
The sad truth is I could go on and on with thousands of examples of children that are hurt, sick, dying, hungry, abused, lonely, crying, scared. Until now, I refused to speak these things because I feared they would seem more real if I did. I avoided sharing my heart with you because if I don’t know how to comfort myself or how to help, what can I possibly offer you?
Something. I need to offer something. Anything. It’s got to be better than feeling so useless. We need solutions. Ways to help. We must remember hope.
“For love to be real, it must cost – it must hurt – it must empty us of self.” -Mother Teresa
So what can we do?
Act. If you witness or even suspect child abuse, report it – immediately! Stand up for what is right regardless of the ramifications. An abused child is EVERYONE’S responsibility.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
Invest. If it’s a situation where a friend needs parenting advice, step up. Lend support, guidance, and love. Invest your time. Suggest you both take a parenting class or bible study together. Get involved. Make an effort.
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1
Contribute. Donate your time and money to your favorite reputable charity. Is there a local children’s hospital where you’d like to volunteer? Do you feel called to sponsor a child in another country and provide food, clothes, and the opportunity for them to go to school? We support Hope 4 Kids International and New Missions, but there are a host of solid organizations to choose from. Do you want to take foster kids in your own home? Every minute you waste thinking about it is a lost opportunity.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Go. Sell everything you own and do missions work for villages where there are far more children with needs than people to help. No, this certainly isn’t for everyone, but IF God is calling you to it, GO and don’t look back!
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” Mark 16:15
Pray. Always pray. For every situation, all the time. Pray. When that familiar helpless feeling came over me as I listened to the news reports of children being beheaded, the only thing I could think to do was pray, pray, pray. Remember, in the midst of horrific situations, God is our sovereign, omnipotent Lord. He is Creator of heaven and earth. He holds the entire universe in the palm of his hand, and that includes these precious children. Pray for his provision, protection, care, and love for them. Pray for the wisdom, care, and expertise of the doctors working on them. Pray for miracles. And pray for swift, harsh consequences for the perpetrators of evil against them.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
Hope. While it may not take away the pain and suffering these babies endured on earth, take heart in knowing that they are dancing and singing in heaven. There are no more tears, no more hurts, no more sadness. They are loved, whole, and bathed in God’s magnificent glory for all of eternity. Our earthly hearts have a hard time overcoming such unimaginable sadness, and there doesn’t seem to be a band-aid big enough to heal our pain, but there is joy and peace to be found thinking of these babies in heaven with Jesus.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21:4
I didn’t pour my heart out because misery loves company, and it wasn’t my intention just to ruin your day. But we have to be real. We’ve got to make a real effort to address real issues. ‘Our’ children deserve it.
I am passionate about decluttering the negative to make room for the good, but I become paralyzed when I consider that I can’t extinguish all the evil doers in the world, and I can’t feed every hungry child, nor heal every sick baby. Paralyzed helps no one.
What I, we, must remember is we can declutter helplessness and make a positive impact in very dark situations. We can declutter hopelessness and live in the glory of God’s promise.
Help me spread the word. Act. Invest. Contribute. Go. Pray. Hope.
Do you have other ideas on how to help? Please share below.
Let’s make a difference.