“The second time I ended up on the street was just because I could not imagine being denied food for a jerrycan of water,” was his response when I asked him why he was back on the street.
Dan (let’s call him that) was a 13 year old sharp boy; (at least that’s the impression he gave when he spoke; so confident, always with a smile) who I met sometime when I went for ministry to street children by then who felt it was time for them to be reunited with their families. By the way, this was the second time I had met Dan at this particular home so my curiosity was tickled a bit since the last time I saw him, he was ready to go home; reformed, he had some hands on experience with wrist band making and always talked of his little brother he had left deep in Masaka.
So it was a shiny Tuesday afternoon when I walked in to talk to some children from the streets with some colleagues about “life” what it really meant to be loved, how their families would be happy with them around etc. Our sessions always ended with a one on one session with these wonderful boys who at times poured out their all, requested to be prayed with or just a simple chat and guess what, I got Dan my way. We started with a recap of what we had learnt that day until it all got personal, he needed “God to help him get back home and also get bitterness out of his heart.” At first, I had a funny feeling about asking why he had gone back to the street because I had seen him a year before in the same home.
“Auntie, the first time I came to the street was because of anger and bitterness,” he narrated as I kept my gaze on him.
“Wont you ask what caused the anger? Anyway let me tell you.”
“A year back an old lady in the village reported me to my parents and after being punished I burnt her granary, the only option was to run away, and the second time after resettlement, I could not imagine mum denying me food because I had failed to fetch a jerrycan of water; I went to our neighbour’s place, out of anger poured her food and ran away.” Ok, this had got serious but through it all he kept focused I failed to ask further. We ended up praying and after some months my friend Dan had to go home.
Street children are not some monsters or criminals that most of us think they are, when you get a moment with them, you actually get to see the world from a different angle, you get to share in their hurt, disappointment and heaviness. The few times I interacted with them, I got to learn a few things and these opened my eyes in a way.
In life we tend to focus on US, live in our little comfortable ”MY WORLD” we whine when we fail to get some stuff we can actually do without, we crumble when we fail a task, when we get rejected by friends, we threaten to commit suicide when life does not move according to the way we pictured it to be.
As we live and get comfortable in our “MY WORLD” may we ask of God to give us eyes that would see that is surrounding us, a heart of compassion to help when we can and ears that listen when we are called upon. May we teach our children the reality of life in this world, may we pray for and with them; but above all may we be SLOW TO JUDGE because we may never know the story behind a person’s situation.
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
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