Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa, All I Want for Christmas Is . . .

Have you ever read Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Match Girl” or seen the animated version of the story? The small little figure walks among people preoccupied, in need themselves or hardened to the faces and needs of others. Too small to be so alone, too frail to endure, too young to be saddled with such despair, this child succumbs to Nature and man.

She is not fiction. She is not a cartoon character. She is every boy and girl who rise to go to school hungry. She is the child without a home, the one who climbs inside a car, metal and glass her only shield against frigid temperatures and elements that could turn her tiny toes black and diseased.

She and he are one in five U. S. children. Their parents may even hold jobs, but their income is insufficient. Some of these children will never become what they might have become because a simple accident of birth placed them in the lowest socio-economic class. Through absolutely no fault, no choice on their part, and no decision made by them, they are and will be at the mercy of fates far beyond their control.

Photo by Al Griffin

Some of them will wonder why Santa seems real to other children, but passes them by, not even leaving coal for their bitter disappointment. Some of them will watch images of steaming, golden roasted turkey and turn away for the images only stir hunger pangs that strike like lightning.

Surely these children know hope, and my Christmas wish is for them. May they receive food to fuel their growth. May they never wake to a certain knowledge that they stand apart from the warmth of Christmas. May Brotherhood be reborn.