We might see it every time we walk through town, but it still takes my breath away. Beggars. Men with missing limbs painting with water on dusty sidewalks and women sitting with babies in their laps rocking back and forth – they all break my heart. I see my son in them. I see the birthmothers of my children in them. How can I not?
How do I deal? Well, we have gotten into the habit of carrying extra food like yogurt or rolls and small money to pass out. The children are quick to help me. It isn’t perfect. And really, it eases my conscience more than it helps, but I keep telling myself that it is something.
Recently we went through the center of town headed to a western restaurant as a treat. We were celebrating another visa in our passport! Now that friends, is worthy of some fried chicken and fries at KFC! As we came up the steps headed for the door, Little Monkey pulled at my sleeve.
We both saw the young mother at the same time. She was sitting on the sidewalk clutching an infant wrapped in so many layers I wondered if he was able to move. The mother’s head was bent down to the ground. She didn’t make eye contact with anyone hurrying past even when a few small bills were dropped into her metal bowl.
Then my daughter….
My sweet, sensitive daughter who has an old soul and thinks way beyond her years, she stopped me in my tracks. “Mom, giving her a dollar won’t help her keep her baby. Please let’s buy her a meal.”
That woman on the street – I am sure she had never had fried chicken in her life, but she ate it that day….along with fries, soup and a soft drink. I wept as we bought her the meal knowing even that would not be enough. Mostly, I bought it for my daughter, for her birthmother and for hope.
I hope for a time when mothers and children will not be vulnerable. I hope for all children to have families and for the sick to be healed. I hope for a second coming when all things will be made new. Come Lord Jesus come.