Never Walk Away

Posted: April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

I gathered this story of the picture from the internet. “In March 1993, photographer Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan, where he took no this photo of a vulture preying upon an emaciated Sudanese toddler near the village of Ayod. Carter said he waited about 20 minutes, hoping that the vulture would spread its wings. It didn’t. Carter snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away. (The parents of the girl were busy taking food from the same UN plane Carter took to Ayod).

Carter sold the photograph to The New York Times where it appeared for the first time on March 26, 1993 as ‘metaphor for Africa’s despair’. Practically overnight hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask whether the child had survived, leading the newspaper to run an unusual special editor’s note saying the girl had enough strength to walk away from the vulture, but that her ultimate fate was unknown. Journalists in the Sudan were told not to touch the famine victims, because of the risk iconicphotos of transmitting disease, but Carter came under criticism for not helping the girl. ”The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene,” read one editorial.

Carter eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for this photo, but he couldn’t enjoy it. “I’m really, really sorry I didn’t pick the child up,” he confided in a friend. Consumed with the violence he’d witnessed, and haunted by the questions as to the little girl’s fate, he committed suicide three months later.”

I have read that often after he won the pulitzer prize he would be asked what happened to this little girl.
He couldn’t bear his response. What will we do? Hunger, physically, is an epidemic problem in our world. Lack of clean water is another. Medical help could prevent so many children from dying. And more significantly, spiritual hunger.

As a Christian, we are called to show compassion. We should labor to relieve all suffering. And the greatest suffering is eternal. Will we show compassion? Will we carry the message of the love of Jesus to the world? And as we carry that message of hope, what will we do to the least of these, as Jesus called them?What will we do when no one is watching and there is no pulitzer prize to win?

Jesus said, “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matt. 25:35-36) When the righteous asked, “When did we do those things, Lord?” Jesus answered, “As you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

  1. What an incredibly moving story. I cannot imagine anyone seeing a child in pain and not reaching out to help. So many of us get wrapped up in ourselves and our own struggles and pain that we don’t reach out to help another, and yet that is one of the most healing things that we can do. To recognize suffering of a soul takes time to observe and intuition on our part. To embrace that wounded or scarred soul and help them in their healing process is one of the most divine things that we can do

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