Tears for Anthony

Tonight I listened in horror to a story on Fox News about a four year old child on life support who is now brain dead. The little boy’s name is Anthony and he was beaten about the head with a belt buckle by his stepfather. I feel like someone has punched me in the gut and ripped out my heart. I’ve been crying for almost an hour. I will never understand how someone can hurt a child.

How does a person bring themselves to not only hit a child but to hit them again and again until the child is unresponsive? How can a person stand the look of terror that must cross that child’s face and to hear the sound of their cries? What could a small child possibly do that would bring forth such hate and violence in a grown person? Please tell me how God can let this happen? This is a horrible thing to say but I pray that the first blow to Anthony knocked him out and that he felt no pain. I pray this poor baby didn’t suffer. I pray that Heaven will give him all the love and gentleness he should have gotten here on Earth.

Child abuse has always bothered me but now that I’m a mother these stories hit me even harder. I look at my own child and think of someone hurting him. The anger fills me and the brutality of it sickens me. I know how much my son trusts me and relies on me. I know his innocence and his cute, carefree ways. I imagine the other children being this way too. I imagine how hurt they must be to have the person they love, trust, and rely on betray them. I imagine their fear and their pain.

I ask God to make child abuse stop. I ask him to give me answers to help end it. I pray to him that no one ever hurts my child. But I can’t help feel as if all the children in the world are my children and need my prayers and my love and my protection. I ask myself what can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again to another child. But mostly tonight I just pray for little Anthony and apologize to him that no one was there to protect him when he needed it most.

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