Marian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Two Prayers for Children

Oh God
Hear the cries of Your children everywhere
Ravaged by violence, poverty, racism, sexism, abuse and hatred
Scared, labeled, arrested and imprisoned unjustly
Ignored by those with power as they languish in crumbling schools and dangerous neighborhoods, homeless shelters and detention centers
Labeled too often by those entrusted with their education and protection as dumb, disruptive, bad and losers
Marginalized by those who are elected to protect them because they don’t vote or make campaign contributions
Resented and neglected by some entrusted to care for and protect them in often inhumane and underfunded child welfare and juvenile justice systems
Hear our cries for our children all powerful God and help them in every needed way
Fight their battles, turn the hearts and transform the actions of those who imprison them in the darkness of violence, structural poverty and low expectations
Open the Red Sea of hope and opportunity to them
Send manna in the wilderness of greed and
Lead them into the promised land.

**

Children – God’s Sacred Inheritance
Reduced by many from God’s gifts and inheritance
To men’s property
To women’s burden
To society’s problem
To workforce commodity
To a family value
To political photo-op and prop
To fodder for military
To corporate marketing target
Valueless unless marketable
Valueless unless problemless
Valueless as vulnerable dependent humans entrusted to adult protection and care
Valueless as God’s special creations and messengers of hope
Valueless until consumers
Children are the seeds from heaven and the stewards of tomorrow.
God’s precious inheritance squandered throughout our earth.

Excerpted from the revised upcoming edition of my book, “Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations for Our Children”

Edelman is founder and president emerita of Children’s Defense Fund.

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