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Friday, August 23, 2019

By Marian Wright Edelman

 

O God of the children of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala

Of Syria, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and South Africa 

Of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Israel, Iran and Iraq

Of Libya, Yemen and Ukraine, Nepal and Kashmir, 

Of the Congo, Charleston and Cleveland, of Darfur and Detroit

Of all refugee children without a country to welcome them, at sea in flimsy boats, struggling across steaming deserts to find safety, or caged in holding pens as they seek asylum,

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all.

O God of Black and Brown and White children and those all mixed together

Of children who are rich and poor and in between

Of children who speak Spanish and English and Russian and Swahili and Mandarin and Arabic and languages and dialects our ears cannot discern, 

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all. 

O God of the child prodigy and child prostitute, of the child of rapture and the child of rape,

Of runaway and thrown away and sexually trafficked children who struggle every day without a parent or place or friend or future,

Of LGBT children struggling to be who they are and children roaming across nations in search of a place called home,

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all. 

O God of children who can walk and talk and hear and see and sing and dance and jump and play and of children who wish they could but can’t

Of children who are loved and unloved, wanted and unwanted,

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all.

O God of incarcerated, beggar, beaten, abused, neglected, and homeless children

Of AIDS, drug, violence, and hunger ravaged children,

Of children who are emotionally and physically and mentally fragile, and of children who rebel and ridicule, torment and taunt,

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all.

O God of children of destiny and of despair without hope for the future, ravaged by wars of adults

Of disfigured, diseased, and dying children,

Of children without hope and of children with hope to spare and to share,

Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all as we affirm the sacredness of every child in our own country and all across our shared world.

 

Marian Wright Edelman is Founder and President Emerita of the Children's Defense.