“Today I want you to write about an important cause. Write about Gandi or MLK; quote Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama. Help us see what you see–what’s broken in the world that needs fixing. This is different from a manifesto. It should be a personal appeal to our emotions, a stirring of the spirits more than a call to action.”
One of the issues most near and dear to my heart is the treatment of and care for children. Especially in the field where I’m now working, it’s absolutely impossible to ignore the fact that wounds from childhood can change the entire course of an individuals life. It’s completely dumbfounding to me that anyone can look at a child and allow or, even more unfathomable, intentionally inflict harm on them. There are a few things that set me on edge like seeing or hearing about how a child is being emotionally, physically or sexually abused.
I’ve loved being with children for as long as I can remember. They’re my most favorite of all human beings; what’s not to love about mini humans that tell it like it is and love to cuddle and read stories and play pretend? As far as I’m concerned, they’ve got it all figured out. We all did, until we grew up and forgot how to be real with one another. You can actually watch their little hearts form in front of you, and with the proper love and gentleness you can be the catalyst towards greatness.
Some of my most precious moments in life have been spent with children; baby sitting in middle school, teaching Sunday school in high school, every wonderful, messy, sometimes infuriating moment with my village kids. I’ve watched little hearts hardened from beatings and cruel words soften and unfurl like flowers with even the smallest bit of kindness and love. How can anyone rest knowing that the world’s youngest and most vulnerable are being taken advantage of?
The idea of children going hungry, or being alone, or having to learn early how to lie and manipulate and steal just to stay alive break me–shatters my heart into thousands of tiny pieces that I can’t ever fully gather back. I love, love, love that Jesus gathered the children to Himself, even when other adults tried to shoo them away. Jesus recognized the value of investing in the little ones, and I think he’s hardwired me for the same exact thing.
I haven’t been a mother yet in the traditional sense, but I’ve had small, joyful glimpses of what motherhood could look like over the years. Until I have babies of my own, I will keep fighting for justice for children everywhere to be loved, to be safe, to be valued, to be cherished. Some days that looks like petitioning for the laws to change regarding trafficking, and other days it simply means getting down on my knees and looking directly into the eyes of a child and smiling. They’re people too, and they deserve to have someone come down to their level to see the world as they do.