Saving the children

Psalm 88: Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the point of death; I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind. Your blazing anger has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me; they surround me all day long like a flood; they encompass me on every side.

One assessment of a distressing rise in child labor worldwide says, “Instead of focusing on the symptoms [of child labor], government ought to help poor people become rich enough that they do not need to put their children to work to feed them.”

Economic realities—greed among them—push us to look the other way when other people are victimized. But we Christians are called to hear—and to ask God to hear—the cries of people who suffer, no matter how distant that suffering may be from our safe lives. Others believe that God has wreaked vengeance on them, that God’s “blazing anger has swept over” them and that God’s “terrors have destroyed” them. How can we convince people that God is loving, that God has not visited catastrophe on them while sparing us?

Every Christian knows the richness of grace, and God calls us to offer that grace to others. Then, God’s children will find a way to believe in the good amid a world driven by self-interest. We are the rich, well aware of the suffering of God's poor children.

If those of us rich in the knowledge of grace do not help, how will the children ever be saved from their despair?

2 Kings 9:17-37; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; Matthew 6:7-15

Copyright 2021 by Carol Mead. For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please contact the author by email (

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