Prayers for a more just nation

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN | 7/3/2017, 10:18 a.m.
“Might it be that this land with all of its richness, with all of its opportunity for true greatness, its ...

Children’s Defense Fund

“Might it be that this land with all of its richness, with all of its opportunity for true greatness, its opportunity to present itself before the world as what a nation ought to be, might not be sowing the seeds of its very destruction in abandonment of its children?” – Dr. Gardner Taylor, Pastor Emeritus, Concord Baptist Church, 1996 sermon at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Haley Farm

Our nation has lost its way as Congress stealthily debates dismantling Medicaid and the health safety net for the neediest children and adults. And as we await the Congressional Budget Office’s cost and impact report and the final outlines of the Senate health care proposal, the only thing I can think of at this moment is to pray for our leaders to rediscover some semblance of common sense and moral decency and protect the 37 million children on Medicaid and the millions of disabled adults and others for whom it is an indispensable lifeline. I hope enough of us will let our voices be heard loudly and clearly in the Congress, the White House and in Statehouses: Babies’ health care should not be capped and cut to give more tax breaks to billionaires, poor and disabled children and the elderly should not be hurt to give powerful corporations greater profits, and healthy births to mothers should not be jeopardized to subsidize tax cuts for millionaires.

A Prayer for Children

By Ina J. Hughs

We pray for children

who put chocolate fingers everywhere,

who like to be tickled,

who stomp in puddles

and ruin their new pants,

who sneak Popsicles

before supper,

who erase holes in

math workbooks,

who can never find

their shoes.

And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who’ve never squeaked across the floor

in new sneakers,

who never

“counted potatoes,”

who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children

who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,

who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,

who cover themselves with Band-aids and sing off key,

who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,

who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those

who never get dessert,

who watch their parents watch them die,

who have no safe blanket to drag behind,

who can’t find

any bread to steal,

who don’t have

any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on

anybody’s dresser,

whose monsters are real.

We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under their bed and never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from

the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed

in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and