PROTECTING INNOCENCE

I can’t get his face out of my head. It wasn’t that he had the appearance of a superstar. There was nothing particularly unusual. It was just his smile… I was standing in line, waiting to be seated at a popular restaurant in town.  Everyone else’s faces were stoic, or frustrated at having to wait.   But this 30-something year old man had the smile of a child on Christmas.  And it didn’t leave the whole 15 minutes. I could tell he had some mild form of down-syndrome.  He was there with his parents, and he was just so…happy. There was such innocence and purity in his simple joy at knowing he was about to get some really great food. I couldn’t stop staring. The whole rest of the night my heart ached. It made me…sad. I was happy he was happy, but sad because I want to protect him so desperately.  I want to protect him from people who would try and give him a dose of “real life.”  I want to protect him from harm, wrongs, evil, pain, loneliness…but, all I can do is pray he never looses that simple happiness of getting some tasty food, or that smile that says, “I’m content.” It’s strange to feel this ache at someone’s joy. Usually, I only feel this way when I see pain.But, the ache in both situations is for the same reason – I AM called to protect and stand up for the innocent, the disabled, and those who cannot do it for themselves.  Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  I may not always have the position to do this, but I will at every chance I get.  I will pray, and I will give to those who are working with the poor and destitute.  This is not just my heart being a “good person,” this is God’s commandment.  I can’t turn away anymore, I have to keep staring when I see a need, because I must act.  And, if I can do more than pray, I will. When I stand before God in heaven, and He asks, “What did you do for the least of these [people],”  I want to be able to say, “Whatever I could!” Written by Krinda Joy, Creative Arts Team
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