Last week, I found this picture while doing research for an art project. The moment I saw it, my heart broke! I my eyes began to fill with tears. I wanted nothing more than to be able to reach through the screen and hold this child -to tell him that everything is going to be okay. That this is the worse part and everything gets better from here. But no. The sobering reality is that it usually doesn't get better. The reality is that there are millions upon millions of children who wake up every day to this kind of sadness.
Like many sickeningly fortunate Americans, I lie to myself. I tell myself that that I remember the poor. I think," Somebody will eventually do something". And the worst- "Its not as bad as it looks, they're used to it". As if people actually don't mind that they are enslaved to soul battering poverty.
I know that if I remembered this child's face everyday of my life, my life wouldn't be the same. I wouldn't waste my money on excessive clothes and make up. My thoughts wouldn't run around in circles screaming ,"This is my world! My world! My world! Me! Me! Me!"
It's so easy to see pictures like this one on the internet or TV and shake our heads saying, "It's ashame". We allow ourselves continue on as if we never saw the misery that is someone else's life. As if there aren't people all over the world who aren't suffering while I am microwaving my Lean Cuisine. If I were to be honest, I would reveal to you that I don't truly remember the poor. I might give them a passing thought here and there, but my thoughts never really dare to venture past that cloud swirling around me crying "Me! Me! Me!". This saddens me. Rather, it convicts me.
You see, there are SO MANY people who just suffer. Everyday. They're not just across the globe in Uganda, they're in your city, they're in your town. Now, you might be saying, "I know, but what can I do about it?" Listen, I don't expect you to wake up everyday of your life mourning all or the sadness in this world. You would need therapy. Let me be honest again when I say that I don't have all the answers. You may be called to action in many different ways. I will ask of you this...but just know that you've already been asked to do this...no surprises here. Remember the poor. Even just remembering can spur action, especially when It's your turn to act. If need be, don't forget this little boy's face. And I will be conscious to do the same.