Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Beaten Boy

There is something about a young boy being beaten to death. Something that doesn't sit right. He was around 13 years old, with tattered clothes, and covered in dirt and sweat. His shoes had fallen apart and were half way off his feet. Without family, without a home, without food, and without hope, he had been living on the streets. He was on the streets for some time, probably sniffing glue, begging, and occasionally stealing to survive. Now he had been caught in the act. As the crowd yelled "thief" this time justice wouldn’t let him go. What struck me most was that the boy offered no resistance. He didn't try to fight back or run away. He just received each blow as men continued to strike him. He absorbed punches in his head and strong kicks to his body. His small bones bent awkwardly and snapped beneath the force. Yet he never screamed or tried to resist. This young boy who had been beaten by life didn’t feel like he had a right to anything else. He had been abandoned by his parents, cast out by his family, and rejected by society. He probably knew little of love. There are thousands like him in Nairobi. As he fell hard to the pavement of Tom Mboya Avenue, I pushed my way through the crowd and walked quickly away. . .Somehow he reminded me of Jesus. Since then I haven’t been able to look at a street boy the same way.

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