Thursday, June 6, 2013

The least of these


There are Roma kids that play in the alley, older girls caring for the babies and little imps who show off their few English words with pride - none of them being appropriate for a blog your mother reads. They dig through the dumpsters in front of your building looking for treasure while their mothers and grandmothers collect plastic bottles, each worth a few small leke in change. If you pause to talk with a friend in the street, one or two will inevitably come up and pull on your sleeve, asking for change or gum or just attention. Your companion has no qualms sternly telling them to "ik, ik!" (leave!) and you're only too comfortable letting them do the dirty business, because giving the kids anything would reinforce the cycle of child labor and make you a target for so many others and you just can't help them all but-

"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick in prison, and did not help you?"
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

My heart hurts and my head hurts.

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