Cut out by the hands of youth
Strung on yarn
Hung in God's house.
Transformed by God
Every 3 seconds, a child dies.
1200 in one hour.
1200 in one hour of worship,
As we sit, surrounded by them.
Reminded by God of his children.
Sometimes the children are faceless,
Just as the dolls are.
Sometimes they are invisible,
And we pass by them.
And so God decided to make them visible.
So that we would SEE them.
And HEAR them,
Speaking to us through the mouths
of mission workers,
Reminded of our gracelessness.
These faceless children
Actually do have faces.
These dolls are reminders of death's shadow.
Younger than five years old.
Named for us.
The dolls were strung through the room
Looped between pillars.
As the choir stood to sing,
Their faces were lost behind the dolls.
When these children are faceless in our minds,
We become faceless as well.
When we see them,
We become the face of Christ to them,
And in their faces, we see Christ.
Another one dies.
Another one dies, that we could have saved.
And our hearts are made heavy
By paper dolls.
So what do we do?
How can we make a difference?
How can we not?
How can we name a Love that wakens heart and mind,
indwelling all we know or think or do or seek or find?
Within our daily world, in every human face,
Love's echoes sound and God is found, hid in the common place.
Open our hearts, dear God.
Open our eyes to the needs of children.
Open our mouths to speak for them.
Through Jesus, we are made alive.
So let's stand up, and act like it.
Thanks to Rev. Carol Duffield, who spoke in our service, and who brought the dolls alive. She is the one who called the dolls "faceless" and then gave them names -- the names listed in the poem are names of children that are cared for and fed because of Upshur Parish House in Buckhannon. Thanks to Pastor Carol, from whom other images in the poem were collected. Pastor Carol is quoted in the last two lines. The italicized stanza is the first verse of the hymn, "How can we name a love" by Brian Wren.
The images were taken today in church prior to or during the service (to see them in more detail, click on them). Our Youth once again participated in the 30 Hour Famine. As part of that event, they learn about hunger in the world, and in response, cut out 1200 paper dolls -- each doll representing a child who dies from hunger and preventable disease each hour. During our hour of worship today, 1200 children died -- one every time you blink your eyes. The youth are hoping that these dolls will be rescued by the congregation. As each dollar in support of the fight against world hunger is collected, one doll will be removed. One dollar can feed a child for one day.