Monday, May 5, 2008
two little girls
I want to say something about Tsion and Samrawit, two little girls who died at AHOPE, my son's orphanage, in the past month. These two little girls are not dead because they had HIV. They are dead because we don’t really care. The blunt truth is that these two little girls were fortunate enough to make it to AHOPE, a place where people care enough to do something. At AHOPE, they received medication, hugs, love, and even the hope of being adopted. But they hadn’t been adopted yet. If they had been and had been in the US, they would be alive today. And they would probably be alive for many years to come – high school, college, jobs, marriage, children. All of it.I am speaking here to a hypothetical “you”. I don’t know who will read this post. But you could have done something.Here are some quotes from some reading I did this weekend.“We can’t reach far enough to offer compassion because our arms are too busy holding all that we own.” (Red Letters, Tom Davis)“Put yourself in the figurative shoes (she has no real ones) of a five-year-old girl somewhere in the middle of Africa. Your father has died of AIDS and, after you’ve watched your mother cough up blood and shrivel to nothing for the past month-and-a-half, she too is gone. How do you make sense of this [that God offers hope]? How could you not feel abandoned? What do you set your hopes in? You set your hopes in people. People who might show up and offer a refuge, a safe place, a home. People who are the living embodiment of Christ himself. People like you and me. People who can show, with the actions of their heart, that God has not abandoned you…” (Red Letters)You have “been given influences, resources, and the ability to make a difference in what seems like a hopeless situation….what if you knew your actions could prevent even one death?” (Red Letters)Readers, you and I are responsible for these girls’ deaths. You and I are responsible for the 6,000 children that will be orphaned by AIDS today. Before you go to bed tonight there will be 6,000 more children orphaned by what is only a chronic disease in our country. Somehow this is OK with us. We say it’s not – we buy red shirts and carry red phones and wear rubber bracelets. But we don’t give a single thought to today’s 6,000 children. This is not just. We think that we are powerless, that these are simply the winds of evil that blow across barren places in our world. But we are not powerless. God’s kingdom has been entrusted to our hands. Empty your hands of all those other things that you are holding on to. Please.
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. (Elie Wiesel)