When a Newborn Baby is Abandoned on Dirt Road

Listen to “When A Newborn Baby is Abandoned on a Dirt Road”:

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” – Mother Teresa

 
News stories have been swirling about an incident in our county:

“Newborn abandoned on dirt road…”
“Umbilical cord still attached when baby was found…”
“14 year old mother gave birth outside…”
“Baby found alive by neighbors…”

And statements like this made by the teen’s neighbors break my heart, “I guess we didn’t even know she was pregnant.”

For 9 months nobody noticed anything…different? What?!

When a newborn baby is abandoned on a dirt road, 3 girls are held captive for 10 years in a basement in Ohio 3 miles from where they disappeared, young men open fire on campuses, and a missing mother from the Pacific Northwest is found dead in the woods with no signs of foul play, it’s time muster the courage to meet and know our neighbors.

This is my plea. This is our call.

What are we going to do about stories like this? You. Me. Us.

Because this could have been my neighbor and it could have been yours. Or we could very well be the one wrapped up in a desperate struggle that causes us to fear, thus abandoning all hope on the side of the road.

Where do we fall short when it comes to knowing our neighbors?

What steps will we take T – O – D – A – Y to cultivate connections with those living closest to us?

For our wellbeing and theirs?

Who’s vulnerable in your neighborhood?

You?
Elderly people who live alone?
Kids who are left home alone because their parents have to work late?
People facing abuse?
Workaholic couples who ‘have it all together’ but are drowning in their striving?
Solopreneurs, working from home, going a bit crazy from the lack of quality interactions?
A guy mowing his lawn over a beehive…who’s allergic to bees?
A stand-up family whose kids are slowly cracking under the pressure to achieve?
Parents juggling kids and marriage?
Those without enough food for dinner?
Someone with a precarious health condition?

Who’s vulnerable and lonely? You might never know until you extend a hand to meet and know them – to intertwine your lives.

Some neighbors are intimidating to meet.

Some may fend off our attempts for closeness.

All I’m asking is that we try and that we pray so our neighbors [and we ourselves] receive the companionship, hope, and help they need, when they need it.

I’m not suggesting we force fellowship were the ground isn’t fertile but that we create awareness for the struggles and beauty around us so we know how and when to respond — before it’s too late. Let’s be mindful and in tune when things aren’t quite right so we can be a listening ear or speak up and be the voice of restoration.

And when bad things happen in our neighborhoods that blindside us, [because no community is immune] may we respond with a hurricane of love.

Because of stories like these —
I’ll spend my life encouraging fellowship and restoration.

How can I help YOU meet and know those in your community? What challenges are you facing when it comes to getting to know those around you? Don’t wait another day – dish – and let me encourage you. Share your heart in the comments below.

Image CC: Laney

2 comments… add one

  • Michaela Cristallo August 8, 2014, 1:08 am

    You have a powerful message here Alysa.

    This story about the baby is so horrible. I can’t even imagine what state of mind that young girl must have been in to make that decision. Lucky it was found.

    You are right, we do need to know our neighbours. As an introvert it can feel overwhelming at times. Do you have any advice for the less outgoing amongst us?

    • Alysa August 13, 2014, 6:58 pm

      Thank you so much Michaela – it’s a message I feel so strongly about. Sounds like some of the young girl’s family members might adopt the baby. Hoping everyone involved in this circumstance feels cared for.

      I’d say start small, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by meeting folks. Friendly waves, smiles, happy hellos from your yard, front porch, or apartment hallway. Leave a note and some muffins in their mailbox or taped to their door/on their porch when you know they’re not home. Perhaps they’ll come introduce themselves.

      Love the “Your body language shapes who you are” Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy. Google it. She talks about ‘faking it until you become it’. Via her research – faking poise and confidence even if you’re shaking in your boots to meet your neighbors might just work!

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