Beautiful Children

My children’s faces (credit: Robin S. Metz, 2005.)

An image lingers in my mind… the resting faces of children. Beautiful, even washed up on the shore.

At first I don’t understand why their mouths are parted. Wouldn’t they be closed? Shouldn’t their faces be more bloated? Less beautiful?

They are so beautiful.

What do I wish? That I hadn’t seen the photo? That it wasn’t tweeted? That I’d stuck with Instagram?

Drowned with their parents. Rohingya Muslims. (Rohingya. I’ve never heard that before. It has a nice sound to it.) Fleeing death squads in Myanmar.

Myanmar. Sounds so far away. Where exactly? And then this morning, 50 people? Is that possible? One shooter? A concert? Country music? 200 injured? One weapon?

Men kill. Men with power. Men without it.

80% of the people fleeing Myanmar are women and children as reported by UNICEF, the UN children’s agency. (Was it Puerto Rico or Texas or something before that to which I donated to UNICEF?)

But the UN is too globally-minded. And guns are too necessary. And men with conceit, bravado & swagger, who pawn God the Father, are who we admire. Who we put above us. Whose words we follow. Whose lies we dismiss for lower taxes. While bellying up to every beef & beer fundraiser for the next kid or mother with cancer in our neighborhood.

We cannot throw up our hands. We must open them and see what we are holding. Where we are praying. It isn’t so simple as–us and them, unless were are looking inside our own hearts. There–is the division.

And, there, also–are the children’s faces.
These beautiful children, washed up on the beach in Bangladesh.
My beautiful children.
Your beautiful children.

Our beautiful children.




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