‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Friday, March 10, 2006

Shhh...Can You Hear Them?

Sometimes life is so bittersweet, you wonder if you are strong enough to let it in.This morning I feel like that.
I awoke at four in the morning, restless, and whirling the previous day around over and over in my head. I turn to see my sweet little girl sleeping, a needed break from the pain of yesterday. It had been such a dark and unforgiving day for her, and she had spent hours, heartsick, crying in my lap, her little body wound up like a ball of string, as tightly as she could.
And so, at four in the morning, I watched her inbreath and outbreath and thought of all the thousands of times she was sad before she came home to me, and how there was no one, all these years, to wrap her in their arms and hold her. There was no one to kiss her forehead and pretty cheeks. There was no one to breathe in the sweet smell of her breath while she wept inconsolably. This is a pain I cannot articulate for you -- this thinking of my daughter all alone. I can't even go there very often in my thoughts, because I think it will break me.
Why do we live in a world where children, so many children, have no comforters, no solace-bringers, no loving fingers to wipe the tears, no mamas and papas or aunts or grandmas to gather them up in their comforting arms and tell them everything is ok? I wish I had a hundred thousand arms, I wish my lap could hold a hundred million little souls, I wish my voice could sooth the ones who sleep in the sewers beneath Moscow, or in the brothels of Cambodia, or the languid street corners of Haiti, Africa, India.

Every night I send out a message to these children. Every night I tell them someone is thinking of them and loves them. I sing it as sweetly as I can, hoping their hearts will catch it on the wind. I sing until my throat is hoarse. I sing when I want to weep. I hope they hear.
We need to do more. We need to not only wish to do more and hope to do more, but we need to shake off our complacency or fear or indifference or whatever it is that keeps us from actually doing something, and we need to do it.
It's morning now. My girl awakes and there is a mother there, taking her in and loving her every move, her every freckle. Each breath.
My dream is for every child of the world to wake this way. Loved. Delighted in.

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