The words of this delicate and nuanced Christmas song bring to mind Brian, the malnourished 13-year-old boy with hemophilia I met two weeks ago in Zimbabwe. I’m not the only one with his haunting image in my brain; others have written who want to desperately adopt him, or do something to help him. He is wracked with pain all over, with so many joints simultaneously swollen. He only weighs 50 pounds. He has no parents and lives in poverty. He can’t walk, and when I saw him, couldn’t even hold a cup to take a drink. He is slowly passing away. We are sending factor for him, and gave him several hundred dollars–a fortune for a poor orphan who lives in rural Africa–but it’s not enough.
We’ve all suffered this past week through the loss of 20 beautiful children in Connecticut, in my own region of New England. Christmas is a time for children; let’s put our heads, hearts and resources together to see what we can do for Brian. I think we need to get him proper care in the US, strengthen him and nourish him, and then he can return home healthier and ready to survive his teen years. We can teach him to self-infuse and we can actually get factor to him.
Would you like to help? Email or call me. Let’s see what we can do to give Brian a better life in Zimbabwe. Last week I reviewed the book Into Africa, about Stanley’s daring journey to find the Scottish missionary, doctor and explorer David Livingstone. He was a deeply compassionate man driven with mission. On his tomb in Westminster Cathedral is written: All I can add in my solitude, is, may heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one, American, English, or Turk, who will help heal this open sore of the world.”
He also wrote “Sympathy is no substitute for action.” So many write so say the picture of Brian haunts them but what can we do? That’s the question. The answer is action. At this time of year, it’s our duty to reach out and help those who suffer. It’s Brian’s turn.
“Nothing But A Child”
Once upon a time in a far off land
Wise men saw a sign and set out across the sand
Songs of praise to sing, they travelled day and night
Precious gifts to bring, guided by the light
They chased a brand new star, ever towards the west
Across the mountains far, but when it came to rest
They scarce believed their eyes, they’d come so many miles
And the miracle they prized was nothing but a child
Nothing but a child could wash these tears away
Or guide a weary world into the light of day
And nothing but a child could help erase these miles
So once again we all can be children for awhile
Now all around the world, in every little town
Everyday is heard a precious little sound
And every mother kind and every father proud
Looks down in awe to find another chance allowed