The Pain of Tuesday’s News

I really love to watch BBC News at 5 pm on PBS. It just gives me a different perspective on world’s events, a European perspective. And I just need my European fix now and then…

Tuesday had been a long day for me, and there I was on my couch, very comfortable, looking at some very uncomfortable news. The pictures were just awful! First the news from London, about the riots spreading through England.

CampCreative Commons License Julien Harneis via Compfight

Following that came a report about another part of the world: Africa. They had quite extensive coverage on the refugees and their stories. They showed a bit the Dadaab refugee camp on the Kenyan border to Somalia, but mostly it was stories on refugees themselves, their long trek to this camp. Some had travelled as long as 22 days! 22 days, more than 3 weeks through the desert, with children and some belongings on their backs…

And then came a story about a woman who had given birth to twins on her way to this camp. And since I’ve got a friend waiting to give birth to twins any day now, my ears just perked up, and I listened intently to this story. The story about this woman was very brief, almost like a side note.

She gave birth in the desert.

She gave birth to twins.

She arrived at the camp with only one child.

One child.

Here the story ended. And when the camera zoomed in on her and the baby, she quickly turned away. But I saw her face. Briefly. Just a second long.

The reporter abruptly switched to other news. I felt like screaming at the screen: Give me the ending! What happened to the other child? But no word about it was also an ending. This tension that I was left with, this heaviness… Of course I knew what happened to this child. It didn’t have to be said. It was there, on that mother’s face, very briefly, just a second long.

This story about these twins has not left my mind since seeing this mother bent over her one newborn child.

Yesterday I came across Psalm 142. Today I prayed this psalm on behalf of this woman:

“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.
I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!
No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.
Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison so I can thank you.
The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”
New Living Translation

I pray for strength for her, for comfort in the days and weeks and years to come. I pray for God’s love to surround her daily. I pray that someone will show her love in a very tangible way and that she’ll meet Jesus and get to know Him, if she doesn’t know Him yet. I pray that she’ll find refuge in the arms of our loving and faithful Heavenly Father, who hears her cries, who sees her tears.

Will you join in and pray for this woman and her newborn child?


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