A week ago my awareness of an evil in this land moved to a new level. The evil is child abuse, and my great-niece fell victim to it. My niece’s fiancee is the accused, he was taking care her daughter while my niece was at work. An “accident” happened and he took her to the hospital. There she was air-lifted to a children’s hospital and hospital workers quickly concluded that the injuries did not add up. She turned four years old in the hospital. Two days later he was arrested and is now in jail.
My great-niece was in critical condition for a week, in a coma, partially paralyzed, and honestly I doubted she would make it. Through the power of social media, hundreds of people heard the story and have prayed for her. Now she has started responding, but without more divine miracles, she will have special needs, including a permanent tracheotomy because of damage to her airway which prevents her from breathing in enough oxygen.
It all sounds rather cliche to those ‘outside’. It’s the mother’s boyfriend. She’s a single mom, etc. It’s like one of those stories you hear on the news (far too often) that happens somewhere else, or on an episode of Law and Order SVU. Both are absorbed for the moment and then quickly replaced by the next news story or the newest episode of Criminal Minds. I am very guilty of reading or watching out of curiosity and then moving on.
I have, of course, always opposed child abuse. But somehow when it touches someone in your own world – it takes on a new reality. Child abuse will never again be just a ‘tsk tsk’ response. There is nothing cliche about this tragedy.