ColumnistsMarian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

Child Watch: A Christmas Prayer: O God of All Children

Marian Wright Edelman

By Marian Wright Edelman

NNPA Columnist

As millions of Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas and their belief that God entered human history as a poor tiny baby, let us remember all the poor babies and children who struggle to live and realize their God-given potential in our own rich land and all around the world today. Let’s commit to act to assure hope and justice for them all.

O God of the children of Somalia, Sudan, and Syria, of South Africa and South Carolina,
Of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of India, Iraq, Iran, and Israel
Of the Congo and Chicago, of Darfur and Detroit
Of Myanmar and Mississippi and Louisiana and Yemen
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of Black and Brown and White and Albino children and those all mixed together,
Of children who are rich and poor and in between,
Of children who speak English and Russian and Hmong and Spanish and languages our ears cannot discern,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of the child prodigy and the child prostitute, of the child of rapture and the child of rape,
Of runaway or thrown away children who struggle every day without parent or place or friend or future,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of children who can walk and talk and hear and see and sing and dance and jump and play and of children who wish they could but can’t
Of children who are loved and unloved, wanted and unwanted,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of beggar, beaten, abused, neglected, homeless, AIDS, drug, violence, and hunger-ravaged children,
Of children who are emotionally and physically and mentally fragile, and of children who rebel and ridicule, torment and taunt,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of children of destiny and of despair, of war and of peace,
Of disfigured, diseased, and dying children,
Of children without hope and of children with hope to spare and to share,
Help us to love and respect and act to protect them all.

Copyright ©   2013 by Marian Wright Edelman

 

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.

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Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Children's Defense Fund’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Mrs. Edelman served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College which she chaired from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977. She has received over a hundred honorary degrees and many awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings which include: Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change; The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours; Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children; Stand for Children; Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors; Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind; I'm Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children; I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children; and The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation.

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