Help This Boy

Sometimes pictures get me.  It sounds silly. Maybe it is.  But sometimes, a picture hits me in my core, cutting, ripping, tearing away at soul and sinew.

Some pictures, some stories haunt me as assuredly as a ghost in a graveyard.  I can’t sleep without it popping into my dreams. I can’t concentrate without it popping into conscious thought.

This picture sticks with me like a chain around the heart:

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This young albino, boy lives in Ghana.  A precious young lady who grew up a friend to my kids and is dear to all my family took the picture.  After college she served as a missionary in Ghana for several years and worked at an orphanage.  This is one of the many children she worked with.

Because the boy has no pigmentation in his skin, he is rejected by his community.  Other children call him names.  They taunt him.  He has no friends.

A few of the adults in his village consider him bad luck, at best, but most adults there say he is cursed with an evil spirit because he’s albino.

He is a social outcast, through no fault of his own, only because he looks different.

In the picture, his eyes look down to avoid others.  The boy doesn’t know it, but his body language is speaking the universal expression of feeling overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted and helpless.

His expression is flat.  Hopelessness is his emotional food.

His hand is on his head, as if to comfort a pounding headache from the inner turmoil twisting in his heart like a tornado.  On one side, he has lost out on love, acceptance and friendship, so now his human nature prods him to just survive. Yet on the other side, his emotions are raw, deeply wounded, twisted, and gnarled from all the rejection he has experienced during his young lifetime. His feelings, his painful emotions tell him there is no way out, no escape, and he must simply endure it all, every day, always.

He covers one eye with a hand, as if to block out what he sees every day.

He’s pleading:

Please don’t stare at me.  I don’t stare at you.

Please don’t reject me. I promise I won’t get in your way.

Please don’t make fun of me. I know I’m different and don’t know why, but I just want to be loved.  No, you don’t even have to love me. You don’t even have to like me! Just please, please don’t be mean to me.

Please don’t call me “cursed” or “devil”.  I don’t say anything back, even when I try to act like it doesn’t bother me, but your words cut, and pound. They’re killing me.

Please don’t walk on the other side of the path to stay as far away from me as you can.  I know I don’t look like everyone else, but I promise I won’t do anything to hurt you, or anyone else.

Please don’t tell your children to stay away from me because I am bad, because, I’m not bad, at least, I don’t think I am. I just feel bad, but I promise, I won’t be bad!  I’ll be nice!

And other children, please don’t laugh at me.  I just want to be your friend. I want to run and play, even though my feet are completely flat.  Sometimes it hurts physically just to walk, but I want to run and play no matter how much it makes my feet hurt. I want to be like you! When you point and laugh at me though, part of me dies, and the rest of me just hurts.  Sometimes it wells up inside and I get made that I’m so different from you.  I just don’t know what to do with all of that inside!

Help This Boy story

So please, don’t mock me.  Don’t say I should go far away, or I should just go out by myself and die.  I don’t want to die. Not really.  But I don’t know how to live like this. Please, I beg you, please!

This picture, this image of a little white, black African boy stays with me.  I can’t shake it.

I don’t want to be a downer, or dark blot on your day, but if you’ve read this far, then you feel it too. You care too.

I honestly don’t know what to do about it.  I do know thought that making a mistake or doing the wrong thing is better than being complacently oblivious.  An action, even a tiny one, is better than sitting and doing nothing.

Not trying to do something is no different from the adults in the boy’s village who say he cursed.

We don’t, however, have to go across the globe to find the boy in this picture.  He’s in your city.  He goes to the local school. He’s employed where we go all the time. He walks quietly by in the store careful to avoid eye contact.

He’s old, he’s young. He’s black, he’s white. He’s poor, he’s rich. He lives under a bridge, in a nursing home, or maybe across the street.  He’s the one we see all the time, but never, ever notice.

183060_1715164433203_2569193_nThis is a picture of him, even though he doesn’t look like this.

Help him.

If we can help him in our own little village, maybe someone can help this child in his.  I hope so.

I really hope so.

 

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19 thoughts on “Help This Boy”

  1. A couple of years ago I saw a documentary, made by a filmmaker I know, about the albinos in Ghana. It was heart rending. And you are right that every day we see people who may not be so obviously afflicted but are still in need of love and mercy even if that is just a smile and a hello!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad Jeff. It’s unbelievable what ignorance can do. Or even a calloused heart. I sometimes think we’ve gotten so used to seeing pain and suffering all around that we forget to reach out and ease it. We just look pass it or through it. Stories like this are a good reminder to keep our eyes open. And even more so, our hearts! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sad, Sheila! And it is so easy to look right past or through it! You have done much yourself in serving others in many ways! Thank you for that!!

      Like

  3. Such a sad story of a helpless child, through no fault of his own is ostracized within his own community. You are so right about there being others just like him in our own community. Thank you for reminding us by sharing this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartbreaking. Thank you for the reminder to open our eyes, because you’re right; he’s a world away, but there are those like him everywhere who need kindness and love. Beautifully, heartrendingly written.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff, yes, we can all reach out to a little one in our own village. Without sharing details, I am reaching out to a little one who doesn’t have a big community around him. And as I give up some of each day to do this, I am being blessed beyond measure, and God is multiplying the fruit from the time I do have left. No, I hadn’t planned on being this busy. But the blessing far out weighs the sacrifice.
    He multiplies when we trust Him enough to reach out. I’m ashamed I haven’t invested more of my time before this. I am honored to be given this opportunity.
    Thank you, friend, for adding to the confirmation I’m doing the right thing.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy, from what I know and understand about you, this doesn’t surprise me at all! I wish you the very best in working with this person who God has placed in your path! Peace to you, Wendy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes… everyone has a story… and we should begin reaching out and caring for “the least of these.” Thank you, Jeff! This is a beautifully written and poignant challenge for all of us who profess to love the Savior!

    Liked by 1 person

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