In his 1891 painting, titled ,THE DOCTOR, Sir Samuel Luke Fildes depicts a physician, deep in thought and no doubt filled with worry, sitting by the bed of an obviously ill child. The bottle on the beside table probably contains only some medicinal hope just as the physician’s power to heal too was more of hope than of scientific knowledge. Still, there he sits, while the anxious family looks on, waiting.
As the year draws to an end and the season of holiday celebrations of all kinds erupt around us, we too are waiting. Equipped with science, technology of all sorts, the happenings of the world at our fingertips and with the power of incredible knowledge not even dreamed about in 1891, we too are sitting and waiting in hope.
We wait in hope that the pain and loneliness of a shelter, instead of a home, where children must look for but never touch the security and the comfort of someone who cares, will disappear into the carols, the crowds in the mall and the ringing of church bells
We wait, hoping that the collection of gifts for the poor and the Salvation Army’s kettle will be their hope as well.
We wait, with some vague idea that solutions for lifting children and families out of poverty and into life will come from the hope we have placed on those elected to serve us.
We wait in the hope that the institutions of faith, some of which even now are celebrating the birth of a child, will gather their strength and message around the bedsides of all humanity leading the parade of hope rather than treading the path of judgement and condemnation.
We wait, hoping that someone, some group, some humanitarian effort will bring light to the darkness of those who sit on the margins of life.
Deep inside, we too are an anxious family, standing by the bedside of the growing number of children in poverty who all too often are ill fed, marginally educated and chronically devoid of hope that ultimately erupts into anger and seethes with despair.
We long for the likes of Sir Samuel’s patient physician to produce a rare and miraculous cure for all the children whose lives are lived in the pain of neglect.
Until that happens however, we wait,
And we hope.
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And with leaders and mentors like yourself, we also do what we can for children whose lives we touch, hoping it makes a difference for them which will continuously spread!
As always, your words force us to reflect and consider what we can do to improve the lives of children. Thank you, Olson!
We must show love to each child we see and work in our own communities to make them a better place for our children to flourish. Everyone deserves the opportunity to make good choices.
Thank you,Marsha, for your wise and thoughtful words!
Honey, this may be the most beautiful thing you have ever written. Thank you. Suzanne may be very near her threshold into eternal life. Love, M
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Thank you Olson very touching! So many children without Hope or anyone. Martha and I saw Jeanette yesterday she was very shaky when we went but we had a very good visit. We dressed her and went to the lobby for a while.. We rook her some Christmas goodies. James took a few steps yesterday with a walker. Small improvement but at least some! Have a wonderful Christmas, Love you Lou
Thanks for your special insight – as always. And thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
My undying prayer is exactly that. That we can provide for those children who are without so that they do have a future. Thanks always for your insight and compassion. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Olson.
Thank you, Stefanie,
And the best of holidays to you as well!
Your message fills me with great sadness. I wish I could be filled with hope for all those, young and old alike, who suffer from neglect, abuse, hopelessness. The little glimmer of hope that persists is with people like you who do care and speak out. DJ Martin, MD, retired pediatrician
Thank you. We, especially, I think, pediatricians, must continue to speak strongly and boldly for our children.
Thank you for all of your writings, and particularly for this one which directs our thoughts from the materialism which surrounds us to the things which REALLY MATTER!! You have spent your life in sharing your gifts where IT REALLY MATTERS. You are one of my “heroes” and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with so many of us. Jane P. Holt, Montreat.
Jan, thank you for your tireless efforts as well. We all must preserve hope but be aware of the need for ACTION!!