A Boy From the Slums

Have you ever met someone and wondered if you would ever see them again?  Or wondered, after many years had passed, what became of “so-and-so”?  Maybe it was an old school friend, or a neighbor, or even a cousin.  I had a cousin that I was very close to when we were little, and then for a  period of 45 years or so, we lost total touch with one another.  I wondered numerous times what had become of my cousin.  When we finally made contact, it didn’t take long for us to get caught up.

When I was in India, there were many faces that I saw and names that I heard…and I know that for the most part, I will most likely never see them again or know what became of them.

I had a similar reaction after serving in St. Bernard’s Parish in New Orleans after Katrina.  There was a young girl, maybe 18, who came in to the medical tent where we were working who had been caught in the flood.  She’s swam and clung to debris for hours before she was rescued.  I wondered what would become of her.

There was a young 15-year old girl in Haiti that had a little baby, but who also had a leg in a nasty-looking metal cage that was screwed in to what was left of the bones of her lower right leg.  I wonder what became of her and her baby after we left.

Today’s picture is of one such little boy.  I encountered this shirtless, barefoot waif in the very last slum we went to visit in Mumbai – the largest slum in southeastern Asia.  This little boy was one of the most aggressive of the kids that we met.  He would push his way to get in every picture, or to make sure that he was in the front of every picture.  He was not an especially pleasant little fellow to be around because of how he was pushing the other kids out of the way, but he was determined.

I wonder what will become of him and of all his little friends who lived in the slum with him.  Will he ever find a way out of that place?  Will he get married some day and have children of his own, and if so, what will they be like?  Where will they live?  And, what was the purpose of my life intersecting with his for even a few minutes?  I am not a believer in coincidence.  What kind of memories, if any, will he have of me?  Was I able to bless him in even some little way?

Every day I come in contact with people and the way I relate to them can help make their day better…or worse.  I’m hoping for the former!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Robert Wadlow was 8 feet, 11-1/10th inches tall and weighed 439 pounds when he died on this day in 1940 at the age of just 22.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the term, sesquipedalian sounds like what it means: it describes the use of long, multi-syllabic words.


One thought on “A Boy From the Slums

  1. You can really impact his life if you send him this picture of himself I am sure he will never forget. When we pray children may not understand that we care until they grow in the Lord but if you send him his image with a small card you may not even know what this child will do with this and at least he can brag that someone cared about him from America and the others will know to.It is a small jester with perhaps a big cause and effect:) Blessings and Peace!!

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