The Cries of the Hurting

Posted on February 7, 2008. Filed under: cultural, reflection |

We try so hard to fight for social justice and equality among humans but today was another example of how our world is a desperate and hurting place.  I went out for coffee with a friend of mine who is in social work. She was telling me the story of a little girl she works with.  I’m going to call this little one Rebecca.

The vicious circle of poverty and abuse repeated itself in Rebecca’s life.  Rebecca is 3. Years ago her grandma, a teenage mom got fed up and tired of caring for her new daughter, (let’s call her Daisy)… so the new mom put Daisy in a dumpster and left her.  Clearly this would have a traumatizing effect on a young child and this little girl grew up with some serious issues.  To no surprise, Daisy also became a teenage mom herself.  She again had a little girl, Rebecca.  I am not sure what pushed Daisy to the extreme, but Daisy also felt the need to abandon her child.  A year and a half ago Rebecca made the news.  Her mom had locked her, at 1 and a half years old in an apartment for 48 hours.  The police had to break the door down to rescue the child.  My heart is breaking as I type this.  Put yourself in that room. What did Rebecca do for 48 hours?  Could she even crawl? Imagine the horribleness of sitting in a dirty diaper for 2 days.  Can you hear her hurting, desperate little cry? This is the cry of only one of our many hurting children in Regina, our country and this world. 
As my friend was telling me this story, a disheveled man walks up to us in the coffee shop and asks us for money. As he talks, a bit of saliva leaks out of the side of his mouth and he is somewhat slurring his words.  He tells us that his car broke down on the ring road and he needs money for gas. I search his eyes, questioning his motives.  In my heart I doubt this man actually needs the money for gas, and I don’t want to fuel an addiction, but my friend and I pull out a small amount of change anyways… scared that he might actually be telling the truth.  I try to offer him help, so I ask if he needs a ride, and he tries to tell me his plans but they don’t really make much sense.  I tried to call my fiancee, but there was no answer. I don’t know if I should call a cab, or drive him myself.  My friend and I both know we can’t drive him ourselves, but he tells me he is going to the nearby Safeway.  That was the last I saw of him.  Since I left the coffee shop I have been questioning my actions and I wish I could have done something more.  Was this man just another product of poverty and addiction and has he resorted to begging for money? Or did he actually run out of gas? There’s also something I need to address, and I have left it for last. Would my actions/opinions/doubts have changed if he was white?

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One Response to “The Cries of the Hurting”

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I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

Karen Halls

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