The Story of a Child

23 03 2014

The Story of a Child

It’s supposed to have happened somewhere in South Dakota. The child wandered away from the house one night. It was dark and wet and dirty, and there was a door open and he was a little toddler… He could have been gone for an hour or more before the mother missed him, and she went to get him and he wasn’t there. She called his name, and no answer; she tried down in the basement; she tried upstairs; she searched every place.
It took a long time to dawn on her that he just wasn’t in the house. She ran down to the farmyard where the working men were finishing off after the day, and he hadn’t gone there. As it happened, for miles in all directions, there were huge wheat fields. A search party was organised and it was dark and dirty and wet and late, and eventually they had to give up. And at dawn the next day, they were out again in force with extra help, and eventually one man just called everybody together and he said, ‘This is crazy, crazy.

We’re running every which way without any plan or organisation or attempt to work together. That child could be one or two yards away from you in that tall wheat and you wouldn’t notice him. Why do not we just line up, hold hands, move in a straight line, and just take field by field?’ So they held hands and walked down the first field, and about thirty or forty yards down the field they found him.

He had fallen into a gully; he was deeply unconscious; he’d been lying there since the previous night, with exposure and rain. They picked him up, rushed him back to the house, but it was too late, the last little spark of life was snuffed. And as they placed him in his mother’s arms, and she sat on the doorstep with the people looking on, and the tears streaming down her face, she screamed from somewhere within the depths of her soul. And she said, ‘In God’s name, why didn’t you people hold hands sooner?’

All the evils of this world–hunger, hatrad, pornography, abortion, prostitution– all can be overcome if we unite, if we hold hands.
“Don’t forget that unity is a sign of life: to disunite means putrefaction – a clear sign of being a corpse,” –Josemaria Escriva (The Way)


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