This is Hudea. I am sure you have seen her picture before. It was taken in December of 2014, five or so months ago. She is 4 years old and lives at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria. Her father was murdered in 2012, a casualty of war. Hudea mistook the camera aimed at her for a gun; who could blame her. She raised her hands in abject…
You study the face and describe it to yourself.
I see grief way beyond a fair allotment for someone who has lived only four years. I see resignation, as if she always knew death would come for her one day. I see sadness; she believes that day has come. I see pain. Follow the curve of her mouth if you’d like to find her heart.
I don’t see anger, she is not allowed that. Do you see disappointment?
I know many will hold this picture up and expect everyone to emote for the camera, the twitter, the audience. We love that fake stuff; attending teary vigils for people we didn’t know, lighting candles for a cause, pretending to a great loss not truly felt.
We get all that warm and fuzzy shtick by the truckload. We get riots, too.
Truth lies buried and ignored in the middle of all that stuff.
Hudea is not news. Today all was about some law in Indiana. Everybody has lots to say about that law in Indiana. Even the sports channel I tuned to on the way to somewhere was all about that terrible law in Indiana. Everybody spent the whole day all huffy chuffy about Indiana.
And time heals all wounds, right? So I ask myself what will happen if Hudea is one day gifted with a luck she is certainly not in possession of at this moment. What if she somehow manages to come to America and is still blessed with life at, let’s say, age 24. Or 34. You pick her lucky number, because time heals all wounds.
What if at 34 she owns a bakery. We all know how little girls love to bake. Would you force her to bake a cake for your gay wedding? Would you take her to court and bring the full weight of the Federal Government down upon her if she refused on religious grounds?
Would you celebrate in joy when she surrendered to your desire, your whim, with her little hands in the air? Wouldn’t she just deserve it?
Hell, we do that all the time.
What if at 34 she decides to marry within her gender and asks you for some flowers to celebrate her special day. We all know how little girls love flowers. Would you stand on your bible and refuse to share God’s artwork with Hudea? Would you demand she seek the beauty of nature elsewhere because of Leviticus chapter and verse?
Would you damn her soul for living in sin? Wouldn’t she just deserve it?
Hell, we do that all the time.
All day long I heard about that Indiana law. A segment of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation featured host Al Sharpton comparing the newly-enacted Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Jim Crow and slavery. Jeb Bush said “This is really an important value in our country, where you can respect and be tolerant of people’s lifestyles but allow for people of faith to exercise theirs.”
We do buzzwords, too; slavery, Jim Crow, values, tolerant, lifestyles, people of faith.
Hell, we do that all the time.
So, as all the talking heads, all the whiners, all the posers, all the morally superior from both ends of the American political and religious spectrum, all with a belly full of food and a mouth full of complaint lay down tonight for a good night’s sleep after fighting all day over a piece of cake and a flower, I wonder.
What is a sweet dream to Hudea?
What would she give for a little piece of cake?
For a handful of flowers?
For a night of safe rest nestled in her mother’s arms, free from fear of death?
Good argument today, America. The world will one day be safe for, uh, cake and… flowers and, uh, marriage or civil…whatever.
But all I see is that sad little girl with her hands in the air.