Let the little children come to me;
do not stop them;
for it is to such as these
that the Realm of God belongs.
you come as a child among us:
small and weak, vulnerable, dependent.
You ask of us the love and patience to listen
with gentleness and generosity,
to receive you and your noise and your needs,
to make room and time for you.
you are the Little One among us,
you are the poor and unprivileged,
the neglected and abused.
You are the boy soldier,
you are the trafficked child,
you are the infant refugee,
you are the black youth who must live afraid.
For you I pray.
I pray not for how we treat you in the sanctuary
but how we treat you in the streets.
I pray for healing
for a world that wounds its children,
that sacrifices you because you are small.
I pray for your divine presence
in the children of the poor,
your genius and beauty in them,
your power and promise for us all,
if only we will welcome you
with honor, safety and care.
I pray for the welcome of little ones,
for a world that becomes a safe home for you,
a whole family.
I pray for you.
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