Last night the hubs and I did a little shopping at the mall. I actually hate going to the mall, but I had some birthday money and good coupons...the combo was too much to resist. We ended up being there a little longer than expected, so we decided to get some dinner in the food court.
As we began to wander around the food court trying to decide what to eat, I saw something I will never forget. It caught my eye right away.
I saw a man and two children sitting at one of the many tables. The man's back was to me and I could see the children's faces. Just from seeing the back of him, I could tell that the man was tense and angry. Then I saw the child's face (who was probably no older than 8) that was the object of his anger. I will never forget his face. Terror. Shame. Complete and utter sadness.
As I continued to walk around the food court, pretending to decide on a place to eat, I made a point to walk past their table. It was then that I heard every cuss word imaginable used multiple times. It was all put together to make the point clear that this child was worthless and deserved nothing in life.
I was in complete shock. I didn't know what to do. I desperately wanted to say something. But I didn't want to bring any harm onto my family as I was standing there holding my son. To say that this man was scary and shady looking is quite an understatement.
I also was afraid of simply angering him more and him taking it out on the children later. Fear paralyzed me. I will never be able to decide what the best thing is that I should have done.
Our family sat down at a table and the man and two children left just a few minutes later. I immediately started crying. I couldn't hold it in. Like I said before, I will never forget the fear and sadness that was on the child's face. So I just sat there and cried in the middle of the food court.
I kept hoping that a camera crew from ABC's show "What Would You Do?" was going to pop up out of nowhere, assure me that everything was staged, and ask my opinion on the situation. But there were no cameras, no lights, no friendly TV host.
After I was able to dry up my tears a little bit, I held my son tight. I hugged him. I kissed him. I told him over and over again how important and special he was.
Then I prayed. It was the only thing I could safely do in that situation. And that's the point of this post. To ask for prayers. Please pray for this little boy...for his safety, protection, and self-esteem. Please also pray for that man...for his anger issues, for his heart, and for his self-esteem as well.
I'm not sure the guilt will ever leave for not saying anything. But the fear of the child having more repercussions later because of my actions stopped me. So all that's left to do is pray. I beg everyone that's reading this to please just pray.