Friday, March 1, 2013
Her eyes are still haunting me....
But something happened in the bathroom that disturbed me so much that I could barely sleep last night.
When I took Diana to the bathroom to change her, I witnessed something that made my stomach turn. I was just finishing up and packing everything back up in her diaper bag when I head three loud smacks and then, a small child beginning to wail.
I looked up just in time to see an older, heavy set woman dragging a little girl, who couldn't have been more than 2 years old, by her arm into the restroom. The woman then forcefully guided the little girl into one of the stalls and said loudly, "You get in there and go!" The poor little child was terrified and complied, crying all the while.
I hadn't realized I was staring until the woman turned and made eye contact with me. We stared at each other for at least 15 seconds. It was almost as if she were daring me to say something to her.
I am ashamed to say that I didn't. I broke eye contact first and quickly packed up the rest of Diana's belongings and scurried out of the bathroom, all the while thinking, "I should say something. I should say something. That poor little girl. I should say something."
Instead, I scurried off to go back to our seats, clutching Diana to my chest, and silently praying for that small girl's well being. Ultimately, I chose not to say anything for two reasons: I didn't want her to come after me and my daughter, and I didn't want to make her more angry and make things worse for that small child once I wasn't around.
The little girl's face is still haunting me. Last night, as I was trying to go to sleep, I couldn't stop hearing those smacks or seeing the anguish in those big brown eyes. After laying there sleepless for an hour, I finally drifted off.
This morning, I am saying a prayer for that child, and all the children in similar circumstances: "God, please look kindly on those children who have been denied the gift of a safe and happy childhood. Protect them from abuse and neglect and let them find comfort in Your love and protection. Help all of us to show sympathy and compassion to troubled children whose words and actions test patience and understanding. Let these children see the world as the beautiful place You created. Help them find the courage to overcome their fears so they may learn to trust and love. Grant those who have young lives entrusted in their care Your wisdom and kindness so they may provide the kind of love all children need to grow and mature. Amen.” (From http://davestuff.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/prayer-for-abused-and-neglected-children/)
Will you send up a prayer today, as well? I am sure she can use it.