Madonna House

What Do the Children See?

by Kathy Skipper

Dark, dark, large, beautiful eyes. What do they see? Despair? Poverty? Misery? Joy? Love?

What do these eyes see? Do they see what I see?

Homes made of adobe (mud and sticks), broken wood or metal, or simply sticks with black plastic on the “roof” and a side or two? Dirt floors.

What would they think if they had windows and screens on them? What would they think if they had furniture?

What would they think if they learned about indoor plumbing, electricity, or a washing machine? Their mothers wash their clothes in an outdoor stone sink or a river or lake.

What would they think if they could see water running from a tap and know that it could be hot? What would they think if their mom had a stove instead of an outdoor wood grate? What would they think if they saw a refrigerator to keep food cold?

How would they feel if they weren’t malnourished? How would they feel if they had three full meals a day with milk and meat and vegetables? How would they feel with a full belly? How would they feel if they could even have our garbage?

How would they feel if their daddy drove home in a car instead of a wagon or, more likely, came on his own feet? How would they feel if there was a daddy with work who could send his children to school every day? What would they see if they had a daddy who could take pride in what he could do for his family?

What do those beautiful eyes see? They see love and gratitude in the people around them. They see a heritage of faith. They see their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, worshipping Jesus and praying to Mary, their Mother.

They see a people who give out of their necessity. Most of them see a cross or crucifix on the wall of whatever kind of home they have. They see people who are kind and who are grateful for what they have and for the life they been given. They see people who will embrace a stranger from another world.

In the beautiful dark eyes of these children, I saw the Child Jesus.

The author wrote this after a short time as a volunteer in Nicaragua.