Friday, May 18, 2012

Bare-footed Boys

Five bare-footed boys sat on the sunny stoop of the take-away restaurant owned by Alex’s brother. A sixth boy exited with the butt slice of a loaf of bread and divided that slice among the others. Each boy must have had less than a mouthful. Another boy emerged from the shop, and another, until eleven boys positioned themselves outside waiting for their bite. Upon discovering my presence, they filled my car window where I was waiting for Alex to arrive.

Joining the boys on the street I asked them how they got that slice of bread, how they kept their hair short, and how the vendors felt about them being around their business. Begging and mopping were the most common answers to how they received anything. Derek, the boy in the center with the white shirt, asked if he could come with Alex and me that day. Alex told me that Derek is not actually an orphan. His father took many wives and those new wives used witchcraft to expel his mother because of jealousy. Derek decided it was better on the street than in that home.

I started wondering why you don’t see groups of girls on the street in the same way you see boys. I decided to pray for these girls instead of think about the possible reasons.