Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

A Little Child Shall Lead Them
Isaiah 11:6

AN eight year old child made a poster in his third grade class. His proud teacher took a photo of him holding his poster. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at that photo, which now has been seen around the world. I have looked at his expression, the way he delicately holds his poster up for his teacher. He has a small smile, including the gaps of missing baby teeth, but his eyes caught me. I see a sadness, a pleading, in his eyes. He means what his poster says, “No more hurting people. Peace” On either side of the word Peace is a heart and below it is a peace symbol.
    This eight year old child has just solved the major problem of the world, and he wants the world to understand it and do it. No More hurting people. If that is accomplished, then Peace may result.
    I don’t know what it was that influenced him to write that poster. Perhaps he had heard people discussing drones and the killing of women and children around the world. Perhaps he had watched a schoolyard bully beat up a little kid and steal his lunch money. Maybe it was a kindly old lady who lived down the street and sat on the porch swing, feeding him cookies, petting her cat, and telling him stories of her youth. Perhaps it was just common sense, which is much more common in small children than it is in  adults, but is rarely recognized by us.
    A few days, or perhaps a week or so later, his shattered body was lying on a street in Boston, surrounded by many hurting people, including his mother, sister and, his father.
    A bit earlier, I had seen a photo of a bunch of Pakistanis, with a row of dead children laid out in a row before them. Victims of an Obama sponsored drone. Perhaps he saw that, though I doubt it. It was not widely published here in the US.
    Mr. Obama came to Boston for a brief photo-op, vowing to bring the perpetrators to “justice” and announcing that he is sending in guns, tanks and drones to “pacify” yet another poor country in Africa.
    Mr. Obama, what part of Martin Richard’s poster do you not understand?

 No More hurting people.

    Isaiah 11:6 says, “a little child shall lead them.” I see that Martin’s picture is slowly fading away as the mass media has milked it for what it can get in the short attention span of the American public. I hope, though, that this simple photo will remain as a lesson in the hearts and minds of many around the world who weary of endless wars, endless “hurting people” for the profits and power of the arms and war makers.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the memory of this innocent little martyr and his simple poster could, in fact, lead the world toward the path of peace?
    Bless you Martin Richard. May your memory stay green and bright and may we bring your simple plea to fruition.
Steve Osborn
18 April 2013


  1. Steve, a very 'moving' picture of the truth that little Martin understood --- and which you so movingly write of.

    The same truth was understood by another Martin, who died young but not quite so young.

    And by many others, including a John who died young, but not as young as the One who he would have hopefully added to this dream of his Imaginings --- and who may well have had more of an influence on his thoughts than he yet understood:

    Best to you and yours, Steve (particularly if you have grandchildren as I do),

  2. Very powerful, indeed. I hope American people will soon wake up and realize that human life is valued the same way everywhere. The same way many innocent Americans grieve here over the lives of their loved ones, and so do families of those who get bombed at will and referred to as collateral damage...All of this destruction only in the name of pride and greed? Yet, we (humans) claim to be more intelligence than other living beings...

  3. Wonderful to read this most powerful post after such a long pause Steve. Truly poignant. And so sad. I had not seen this story reported in the Australian press.

    What will it take indeed before we allow ourselves to be led by the wisdom of innocence?

    Thanks for this