The other day on CBC I listened to the story of Abeny Kuol, a Sudanese woman who escaped the conflict there by carrying her three small daughters through Sudan, Ethiopia and into Kenya. She journeyed for 15 months and after many years living in Kenya came to Canada.
(One of my children asked me if I would carry the two of them thousands of kilometres to keep them safe. I answered that I would, but if I'm honest with myself I really can't say for sure. I would certainly want to and would intend to, but having the strength - mental more than physical - is another thing entirely.)
Abeny spoke briefly of the way she was impacted by the many people who helped her along the way, in refugee camps and elsewhere. Having received love and support from strangers is some of what causes her to remain involved in South Sudan, often travelling there as part of an aid agency that cares for orphans of the conflict.
As I look at the above photo of children smartly dressed and ready for their first day of school I am reminded by them and by Abeny Kuol that we don't always know how we figure in to someone else's story. And while we don't know how any story will end, we know that it is our role to be present, to show love and mercy, and to do what we are able to.