It Could Have Been Me

I’ve been really sick this week.  I mean – really sick.  There is a gastrointestinal bug going around and it has hit me hard.  (I know, it’s more than you need to know….)  When you lie in bed long enough, your brain is your only source of entertainment because your body really can’t do anything more than it is doing at the moment.

2006-06-18 052As I doubled over with massive stomach cramps, I could not help but think about a little girl who at this very moment is lying in makeshift dirt bed….doubled over in pain because her tiny tummy hurts so badly that she tries to use her own arms to surround herself in comfort.  She is suffering from dysentery or malaria.  No one has really given her a diagnosis.  This dirty, blessed street child is hurting.

I had the ability to drag myself into my car and take myself to the Urgent Care Center to get some relief from my symptoms.  She did not have this option.  There are no clinics near by nor medicines available for girls like her.  Even if there were a clinic, there is no money to be used on her pain.

So she takes the pain in stride because this is life for her.

I lost 10  pounds during my illness.  She hasn’t a pound to spare – I have a plethora.

This isn’t the first time she’s experienced pain.  She is used to stomach pain because hunger is her constant companion.  What little she can scavenge from the streets has to make do until she can find the next morsel of sustenance.

I went to my pantry, pulled out a box of jello and made something to soothe my tummy.  Jello costs pennies.  Not a big deal to me.

But a huge deal to her.

The great sadness is that it doesn’t have to be this way.  There is a way to help but so many advantaged people fail to see that they can share their blessings.  They worry they don’t have enough.  Rest assured – you have enough!    We are blessed with health care, cars, food, medicine, education, homes, clean water and more.  We aren’t entitled to them but we have been given them.  We have enough.

Can we not share?  Even just a little bit…..for her?

2006-06-23 008I am hyper-conscious at this painful moment that it could have been me on that street.  But for the grace of God, I could be wearing her shoes and could be shivering in that dirt bed instead of her.   But here I lie –inside a warm, cozy home in a soft, cushy bed as I wait for my ailment to pass, knowing with confidence that I will survive this illness. I have hope.

She lies there in the heat of her fever and wonders if this will be the time that finally takes her life.   She’s wondered this in the past.  And the fact is, exposed to the outside elements while her little body is under such duress, her chances for survival diminish greatly.  She doesn’t have even a shredded blanket to cover her bare, cold feet.  She has no hope.

Am I responsible?  Yes.  We are all responsible.  I don’t want our hearts to ignore this message as is our tendency.  Out of sight — out of mind.  I pray this verbal painting of a hurting little girl will stay with you for a very long time until it haunts your conscience into submission and action.  You have enough.  You should help.  I have enough.  I must help. It’s not optional.

She is worth saving.  She is valuable.  She could be a part of your family if you would adopt her into your heart.  It’s easy.  Here’s how to help.


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