One day the Lord got my attention while I was standing at a busy street corner in India waiting for the light to turn green. There were little children everywhere, a common sight at many busy corners in Bombay. Tourists are cautioned not to give them anything because once you do, the others will all mob you.
While I was at this corner, feeling a bit annoyed by little hands grabbing at me, I heard from behind me the voice of a young girl.
“Sahib, Sir, my father died. My mother is sick. She can’t beg anymore. And I have a little brother, who is very hungry. Would you please give me a few pennies so I can buy some bread and take it to him?”
The light turned green, and everybody hurried on. But I couldn’t move. What she said pierced my heart, I turned around and saw this young girl, not yet 10 years old. I will never forget her face − one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen on a child. She had big brown eyes, thick black hair almost the length of her body, dirty fingernails, and dust mingled with sweat running down her face. She was barefoot and in rags. She just stood there with her hand extended.
I put my hands in my pocket and took all the money I could find and gave it to her. Then, I walked on.
Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, I felt an unseen stranger joined me on this emotional walk. “So, what do you think about the little girl you just met? Is her life as valuable and precious as…” and the face of another young girl appeared in my mind’s eye. I didn’t know the name of the girl on the street, but I for certain knew the name of this new face; it was my own little daughter, Sarah.
I certainly don’t want anyone to feel guilty about lovingly caring for our own children and grandchildren. But the question remains: Is there room in our hearts for one or two of the world’s suffering children, and can we also care for them in Jesus’ name? Can we see them as Jesus does, so special to Him, their worth like jewels beyond compare?
(Excerpts from No Longer A Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan, © 2011, pages 69-72. Order your copy here.)
When I read No Longer A Slumdog, I saw the face of my daughter, Susan, and became a sponsor in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry. I pray this happens to thousands and thousands of Americans, maybe even you. (Larry Who)