Bedtime Stories

When saying our bedtime prayers, I pray for the children who sleep on cots in old WAL-MART big box stores. According to this news article, thousands of children are literally being warehoused. This is not a metaphor or an exaggeration. The place designed to store plastic products made in China is where children are forced to live.

While reading my son his bedtime story, I think about all those children who have no one to provide nurture, emotional care or comfort. Yes, they get food and clothing. Yes they have shelter and medical care. But even abandoned dogs in an animal shelter get these things.

What about the emotional and psychological well-being of these children? Without access to parental or familial relationships, their growth is being harmed. Separating children from families without providing appropriate emotional and psychological attachments is a form of psychological and developmental torture.

There will be negative longterm side effects of this type of emotional and psychological neglect at the hands of the United States government. This will have implications for the future of these children who will grow into adults impacted by the traumatic effects of this form of psychological and developmental torture most likely leading to PTSD.

I know how much encouragement, nurture, love, tenderness, and comforting touch that my child needs from his parents on a daily basis for his own development and wellbeing. Children from other countries are no different than my child. All children need love and tenderness. All children are created in the image of God.

It is an insult to God and all creation that children are being treated worse than dogs. Separating children from their families and warehousing them is a crime against humanity that needs to be stopped as soon as possible because already too many children have experienced irreversible harm.

As a mother and as a Christian pastor, I am ashamed and horrified by this unacceptable policy. I believe Jesus Christ calls us to love the world’s children just as we love our very own. Would the President put his son in one of these warehouses?

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

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