For the Children of the World

A Prayer

"He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." -- Mark 10:16

We pray for the children

 Who sneak popsicles before

       supper,

   Who erase holes in math

       workbooks,

   Who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those

   Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

   Who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers

   Who never "counted potatoes,"

   Who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,

   Who never go to the circus,

   Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children

   Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,

   Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those

   Who never get dessert,

   Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,

   Who watch their parents watch them die,

   Who can't find any bread to steal,

   Who don't have any rooms to clean up,

   Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,

   Whose monsters are real.

We pray for children

   Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

   Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food

   Who like ghost stories

   Who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub

   Who get visits from the tooth fairy,

   Who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

   Who squirm in church and scream into the phone,

   Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us

       cry.

And we pray for those

   Whose nightmares come in the daytime,

   Who will eat anything,

   Who have never seen a dentist,

   Who aren't spoiled by anyone,

   Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

We pray for children

   Who want to be carried and for those who must,

   For those who never give up and for those who don't get a second

       chance

   For those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of anyone

       kind enough to offer it.

___

adapted from a prayer by Ina Hughes, posted by SNU Missions