Grasp - the last sentence on page 76
She grasps my hand tightly and looks up at me with those beautiful brown eyes decorated with the long dark eyelashes her daddy gave her. She squeezes my hand and snuggles in for another chapter in her American Girl Doll book. I give her a motherly wink and our hearts are connected and engaged in the story within minutes. It is moments like these that I cherish, that I hold dear and I’m so very grateful that my 7 year old is being given a childhood, a “real” childhood. There are a lot of children in the world who are not. A lot who are not given a childhood, not given a chance at life or at freedom. I just finished reading a heart wrenching book on the “4-14” window. “4-14” refers to the children of the world between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. I have three kids but two are in this category. 150 million of these precious children are forced to labor as slaves. Many of them sold into a form of slavery and child prostitution, sometimes by the very woman who bore them. Their childhood. . . stolen from them and their innocence and hope along with it. There are no tender moments with their mom or dad reading books or playing games. The only intimacy that they know is vile. I read and wept over stories of children intentionally maimed and disabled in South East Asia so that they would attract more pity and therefore more pennies while forced to labor on streets for their “pimp” who holds them in bondage to an ever increasing debt they can never repay. But the last sentence on page 76 is what I can’t erase from my mind and which is causing my heart to beat right out of my chest. . . and the mama Lion in me to rise up ready to pounce on the enemy of these kids. Yohannan wrote on page 76, “close your eyes and just imagine it was your child who was gagged and bound and whose eyes were blinded by boiling oil. Picture your daughter trapped in a cage with lines of men outside.” Even as I type those words out. . . I am enraged. . . furious. . . and ready to pick up a sword. I look down at her brown doe eyes and sweet smile and I vow to the God I love and serve with everything in my being. . . that I will be a part of bringing this atrocity of modern day slavery and exploitation of children to an end! One step and one child at a time. Who’s with me?