Never have I struggled so intensely with a question. Is there really equal hope for every child?
Recently my family faced one of the most anguish filled events of our lives. Timothy (Tim-bits to me), my not quite two year old grandson and his little friend, wandered off in search of adventure during the commotion of a family celebration and accidentally fell into a neighbour's pool.
It's the phone call no parent or grandparent ever wants to receive. Panic charged through the line as my son choked out the devastating report - two little bodies found face down in the water. In a moment like this, a father has just one response.Get help!
Time blurred. Sirens screamed. Paramedics. Police. Neighbours. Television broadcasts carried our story into homes all across Canada. Thousands of people genuinely experiencing heartbreak from the tragedy of two innocent lives threatened. Hundreds of families and individuals identified with our family's pain and expressed a desire to help.Suddenly another little boy's face appears in my mind.
Only a week before I was travelling in Africa, once again surveying countries broken by AIDS, internal conflict, poverty and hunger. Daily I met families struggling amid their own tragedies; parents watching their children needlessly die from preventable diseases and starvation. The image of one little boy in particular is seared into my mind. Sitting alone, tears slid slowly down his dirt streaked cheeks. His arms outstretched longing for an invisible rescuer.I am home again but his little face lingers, haunting me.
I wrestled with God, my heart aching and deeply torn between feelings of inexpressible gratitude for a country that affords my grandson the hope of recovery and the incomprehensible disparity which, by chance of geography, another's grandchild goes without. Who, O God, is caring for the little boy in Africa? Where are You in his tragedy? Are not all children created equal?
What can I do?
Immediately, my response was: get help.
A deep conviction compels me to be the voice of this little boy. To be the voice of all the children around the globe who cannot ask you for help themselves. FH Canada is working tirelessly to respond to the needs of the poorest children around the world. The forgotten. The helpless. We are relentless in our pursuit to answer their call for help and understand that poverty is not just an issue; it is a person. It is a soul.
My family remains encouraged for little Timothy's future because of the professional care of countless doctors and nurses investing in his recovery and the heartfelt prayers from thousands of people around the world. But most of all, I am encouraged because of God's perfect grace. It is His grace that stirs me to remember another little boy's face. Poverty's face. They are calling to us. Together we can let these children know we hear them; help them; value them.
This is likely the most difficult and intimate letter I have ever written. Let it be a catalyst to bring hope to all children, everywhere.- Ben