Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. — Ashley Smith
I read a story about a sad and terrifying incident that occurred during the recent tragic war in Sarajevo. A reporter, covering the fighting and violence in the middle of the city, watched a little girl fatally shot by a sniper. The reporter threw down whatever he held, rushing immediately to the aid of a man who knelt on the pavement cradling the child. As the man carried the child, the reporter guided them to his car, and sped off to a hospital.
“Hurry my friend,” the man urged, “my child is still alive.”
A moment or two later he pleaded, “Hurry my friend, my child is still breathing.”
And a little later, “Please my friend, my child is still warm.”
Although the reporter drove as fast as was possible, by the time they arrived at the hospital, the little girl had died.
As the two men were in the lavatory, washing the blood off their hands and their clothes, the man turned to the reporter and said, “This is a terrible task for me. I must now go tell her father that his child is dead. He will be heartbroken.”
The reporter stood speechless. He looked at the grieving man and said, “I thought she was your child.”
The man shook his head. “No. But aren’t they all our children?”
Yes. They are. We live in a world that can be cruel and merciless. And there are a heap plenty of people and systems to blame. (And it is always some other people, and some other system.) But the truth is that we wound one another. We wound with real wars, and real bullets. We wound with words, with hatred and resentment. And we wound with intolerance and small-mindedness (some of it in the name of “love” and God).
“If we have no peace,” Mother Teresa reminded us, “it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Well, if we do belong to one another, then “they”–the “least of these” and those without voices–are indeed, our children.
Ours to care for.
Ours to listen to.
Ours to see.
From “Sabbath Moments”.