Lifeline This Week

Sun Oct 17 @05:00 - 08:00AM
Koinos Church
Tue Oct 19 @05:00 - 07:00AM
Mobile Clinic
Fri Oct 22 @09:30 - 11:30AM
Mobile Clinic
Sat Oct 23 @09:00 - 11:30AM
Downtown Mobile Medical Clinic
Sun Oct 24 @05:00 - 08:00AM
Koinos Church
Sat Oct 30 @09:00 - 11:30AM
Downtown Mobile Medical Clinic

Elena's Today

You should have been playing today,
Or learning to pull yourself up to your feet,
Or maybe even taking your first proud steps
As a member of the mobilized world.

You should have been giggling today
At strangers whose rapt attention was yours,
Or maybe even enjoying many warm embraces
From your mother or father or new friends.

You should have been learning today
What it's like to be loved and cared for,
Exploring the beauty of the world and yourself,
Touching grass and water and friendly faces.

After all, you're a whole year old!

But you didn't play at all today,
And your face and voice couldn't collude
To produce a giggle – though one faint smile.
And the big world was no school for you.

Instead, you fought for your life today.
Fighting to have a chance at a tomorrow,
Yet armed with no weapon but dependence
On someone else to right this wrong.

I held you for a long moment today,
And thought of a million unanswerable questions:
I wondered, how can a one year old weigh less
Than I did on the day I entered the world?

How can any mother survive such sorrow,
Seeing the promise of her daughter's life fade away?
How can we live with ourselves or sleep at night
Knowing we allow little girls suffer like this?

I looked into your deep, sad eyes today,
And saw trust that had been disappointed
Again and again, whether intentional or not.
Why do we think that distinction matters?

You died today because you were hungry.
Not that there is a lack of food in the world,
But because of a dearth of love and generosity,
And little interest in caring for anyone else.

You died today, and little notice was taken
Outside the walls of your own cardboard house
And family, struggling alone in a sea of faces.
After all, 1400 others died here today, besides you.

The memory of our meeting still haunts me,
But sometimes I'm afraid that I could forget
What it was like to be there on your last today,
And that I am my brother's keeper.