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Spiritual Life: We must do more for our children

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 July 2018

Archant

The rise in children’s mental ill health and increase in youth violence is a wake up call.

It has prompted me to write the following poem:

Hey you.

Yes you. Reader.

A young man lies dying in the street.

Have you not heard his cries?

Hey you.

Yes you. Priests, preachers.

Are you still passing by on the other side?

Hey you.

Yes you. Parents.

Give them your time now and you’ll become their refuge, not the streets.

Hey you.

Yes you.

Before you stop and search, look into his eyes.

See his struggle, his emerging manhood, the storms that have battered and broken his spirit.

Mend it.

Churches stand empty, prisons overcrowded.

Where are our visionaries, poets, rappers, singers, sportsmen?

Do you recognise the child who drifts aimlessly?

Where will he go?

To whom can he turn?

Years ago, I worked at a family centre which provided services and activities for teenagers.

Staff were available to listen and discuss ways in which faith can help us on our journey through life.

Out of that safety net emerged remarkable men and women who enhanced the lives of their local communities.

Churches and government both need to prioritise children and youth services, which includes resources for their spiritual lives. The 10 commandments are a basic guide for living.

“You shall not kill” is one of them.


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