Small One screams his head off when he is hungry. I’m sure there is nothing particularly unique about this, but as a first-time parent, I am amazed at his singular focus on food when he needs it (although as a formerly pregnant woman, perhaps I should be more understanding). If I need to carry him to go to our feeding spot or fill a water bottle, he starts alternating between crying and a wide-eyed, desperate panting, his head bobbling back and forth, searching, searching. Sometimes he latches on to my bicep and sucks with all his might and then cries with disappointment.
Are the Somali babies in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps crying because of hunger today or does a baby get to a point where it can’t cry for food any more because it has no more strength? Yesterday we read the BBC’s special report about the drought in the Horn of Africa. Undoubtedly this is a long and complicated story, but here is the short version: thousands are dying by the day, they have no food, up to 10 million people could be affected.
Today I am trying to imagine a Somali woman my age in one of those camps after her long trek from Somalia to a refugee camp in Kenya. She has more children than I. She is bone weary from exhaustion. She has buried a child or two on the journey. Does she have milk left for a baby or two? What does she feel when her babies cry and yet she has nothing to give them? I am trying to imagine, but I cannot.
There is no worse feeling in the world than being unable to give your small, innocent baby the food he needs.
“What would Jesus do if he was walking through one of those refugee camps?” I wondered, and the answer in my heart was simple: He would feed them.