But there was something else about that show that struck me even more than seeing all the poverty. I couldn't figure out quite what I was feeling, and then I happened over to Karen's blog this morning, and she had this quote as one of her "great thoughts":
"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." ~ Charlotte Gray
That's it. Right there. Seeing all those poor children, especially in Africa, left without home, food, or family and living on the streets or in a tiny hut in unimaginable conditions just breaks my mother-heart. They are sick and hungry, and sleeping on the streets, and all alone. At one time, they must have had mothers who loved them, even if she could not properly care for them. And what must that mother have thought as she lay dying, knowing that her babies would be orphaned and left to a hopeless state? I know if anything happened to Jeremy or me, or both of us, there would be many loving and willing family members to care for and love them in our stead. So many of these little children in Africa have no one once their parents are gone -- because everyone else is already dead. I can't even bear to think of my own two little darlings in such a state as so many of these precious children are living in.
As a Christian, I know and am very well aware that we do not live in a perfect world, and I know that is for a reason. But it is still hard to see things like this, and know that they exist. However, being made more aware of these sorts of conditions serves a good purpose. It gets me outside my own little protected place and spurs me on to prayer for the world around me. It reminds me to give where I can to those who are less fortunate than us. And it makes me grateful-- so grateful that my little ones are safe and sound here with us, happy, healthy, cared-for, and surrounded by love. I pray I will never take any of these things for granted.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits...." ~Psalm 103 (read it all!)
***Edited to add: One thing I thought was very interesting was that last night, the song the top 8 sang happened to be "Shout to the Lord". I must commend whoever made that decision, because it was the perfect song and message after seeing all those horrible things. "Nothing compares to the promise we have in You!" And we can praise Him even in the midst of a world that is filled with such things they showed.