For some reason, Pedro is discussing meat eating and vegetarianism with students while he patrols the playground after lunch. As I walk by on my way to my next class, I overhear a youngster declare, “I’m the only vegetarian in my family!”
“Really?” Pedro asks. “Everyone else eats meat?”
“Everyone but me!” the second grader declares.
“Guess what, Mr. Ojeda?” a third grader asks. “I’m half vegetarian!”
“Really!” Pedro exclaims.
The bell rings and I hurry to unlock my classroom door, disappointed to have missed the rest of the conversation.
The conversation tugs at my heart the rest of the afternoon. The half-vegetarian lives with another faculty family on campus. No one knows the whereabouts of the father. The mother dropped her two young children off with the faculty member ‘until further notice’ about a month ago. At least she abandoned them to the care of someone who cares.
Not Just a Job—But a Haven of Hope
I suppose the youngster claims to be half vegetarian because the faculty family eats vegetarian and the mother does not.
This is where I work. A school for abandoned children. Very few of them are actually abandoned in a parental-guardianship sort of way. But most of them feel abandoned in other ways.
No one stood up for them when someone raped them.
Their parents spent grocery money on drugs or alcohol, leaving the children to forage for food or go hungry.
The bitter cycle of poverty has poisoned every relationship in their lives that should nourish them.
They have witnessed things in real life that most of us cover our eyes when we witness on television or in a movie.
And me? What can I do to counterbalance the abandonment that they have encountered in their short lives?
Not much. I can develop relationships; I smile and encourage. Before every class, I ask for prayer requests and we pray together. I can reflect the love of the one who loves them so that one day, they will find their true father. And never again will they feel abandoned.Let Jesus reflect the light of his love on the abandoned so that they will know their one true father. Click To Tweet
Q4U: What can you do to light the way for someone who feels abandoned?