‘Twas two years ago, three friends and I drove to Goa, and stopped at a well-known restaurant for lunch. It was an open-air eatery and as we sat we could see car loads of families coming with hungry passengers looking famished and tired. The fathers seated themselves at the head of the table and drank their beer while the mothers ordered.
Suddenly I felt a hush. I had my back to the car park and asked my friends what was happening. “It’s a car full of young girls!” said one of my friends. Every man in the room had his eyes fixed lustily outside as I saw the girls entering: They were children! Just about fifteen to seventeen years old. They came in eyes down and felt themselves ravaged by the lecherous looks they were getting. Even as I looked up at them a thought came to me; they’re like my own daughters! They are my children!
A reporter who was covering the tragic war in Sarajevo saw a little girl shot by a sniper. The reporter threw down his pad and pencil and rushed to the aid of the man who was now holding the child. He helped them both into 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.” In a little later he said, “Hurry, my friend, my child is still warm.”
When they got to the hospital, the doctors took over and slowly brought the child back to consciousness. “Thank God!” the man said to the reporter. “I must go back and tell her father his child is alive!”
The reporter was amazed. He looked at the man and said, “I thought she was your child.” The man replied, “No, but aren’t they all our children?”
Yes, they are all our children. They are also God’s children as well, and he has entrusted us with their care in Sarajevo, in Somalia, in New York City, in Los Angeles, in my city of Bombay, in Goa, in Delhi, and elsewhere in Georgia, and in Washington, D.C! Everywhere!
What a fascinating question: Aren’t they all our children? Those girls in the restaurant and across the street? In the next house? Aren’t they all our children? Ours to feed? Ours to clothe? Ours to educate? Ours to keep safe? But mostly, ours to love?
Is there a greater privilege?
Would you be able to look at a pretty girl or handsome boy and say from now on, “they are our children?”
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