The Social Worker and the Ragged Lad
Amelia liked to walk the five blocks to work each day. It was good exercise. In order for
her to get to her office, she had to pass a slum area. She never paid much attention to it.
After all, slums were just part of urban dwelling. The ironical thing was, she was a social
worker and had to deal with the "unfortunates" of life every day. Only her "cases" were all
on the computer screen, or on paper. It was someone else who had to deal with the real
That is, until she met the ragged wee lad. Even though Amelia had never seen the lad, he
had seen her every day for the past several months, as she passed his dwelling. He had even
followed her to her office on several occasions. He knew that she was the head of the
social services… but no one from her office had ever called on him and his mom. But even
so, he liked the way she looked. He liked the way she walked. He liked her voice. He had
heard her talking to people, as he crouched outside her office door. Her voice sounded like
that angel he kept dreaming about.
Day after day Jackie tried to get up courage to talk to her. He didn't know her name, of
course, but he was sure she could help--if only he could get up the courage to ask her… But
on this day he knew he could wait no longer. His mother was very sick. He knew that this
kind lady would help him find his dad. Oh, he so desperately needed to find his dad.
Amelia felt a tug on her sleeve. She pulled her arm away quickly, looking around to see who
it was that was trying to accost her. That was when she saw the ragged wee lad.
The rest of the story, except for the conclusion, I want to tell you in rhyme.
She locked up the door of her office, her mind on the caseload she had. At the foot of the
long winding staircase, she spotted a ragged wee lad. She started to go right on by him,
but he reached out and touched her, and said: "Please, missus, oh please can you help me?
I'm looking real hard for my dad."
His eyes were as big as two saucers; his hands looked so cold and so blue. The counsellor
stooped and she clasped them. She said, "Sonny, what does your dad do?"
He shrugged his frail shoulders, and answered, "Lady, I ain't got even a clue. My mama said
he upped and left us, before I had even turned two."
The next words he said were heart wrenching: "My mamma, you know, ain't too well. She now
is too weak to go workin, cleanin’ rooms at the downtown motel. This morning the landlord
came knockin’. He was mad, and he started to yell: 'You'll have to go find you a new place
if you don't soon pay up your full bill.'
"So I thought, that for my mamma's birthday that I'd like to go look for my dad. I know it
would be the best present that my mamma ever has had. She said she don't want him to come
back, but she must, cause she's always so sad. I'll tell him that we really love him, and
we need him, so awfully bad."
The lady, whose name was Amelia, said, "Take me now, son, to your home. Do you have any
brothers or sisters, or are you and she there all alone?"
"Just Mama and me," was his answer, "since my daddy took off for to roam. My mama said
that's just what happened. And she told me she's glad that he's gone."
Amelia smiled down at the small boy, who told her that his name was Jack. He led her on
down a dark alley, through debris, to a ramshackle shack.
He burst through the door and he shouted. "Hey, Mommy. It's me, and I'm back." His mother
could not even answer. She was choking from a coughing attack.
The mother soon went to the hospital. She knew her life nearly was through. She said to her
boy, "You know, Jackie, I know God will look after you. I prayed to Him this very morning:
Please show me, dear God, what to do. And then you came burstin’ in, callin’, 'I'm back,
and I've brought a friend, too.'"
She reached out her hand to Amelia. She said, "Please find a home for my son. Won't you see
that he's love and protected? Please don't leave him with just anyone."
Amelia took her hand and she held it. She told her, "Rest assured. It is done. I've found
him a family who wants him. He'll have both a dad and a mom."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So Jackie went home with Amelia. God also had answered her prayer. Her husband and she had
no children: a house without kids seems so bare.
And now as she leaves work each evening, it seems she is walking on air. She knows that at
home there'll be laughter; for Jack, with his new dad are there.
Ever since Amelia took Jackie home to become her son, she had a new outlook on life. She
took a new interest in the "cases" that came into her office each day. To her they were no
longer merely names in the computer or on paper. To her they were people just like herself,
who had not had the opportunities she had had. She did all she could to see to it that each
case was given individual attention. It wasn't easy. She ran into political snags and red
tape, but she did not rest until she knew she had done everything in her power to do the
job God had given her to do.
Please visit my website at: www.occupytillicome.com.
I'd love it if you left a message.
~ Helen Dowd ~
[ by Helen Dowd
Copyright © 2004, (email@example.com) -- submitted by: Helen Dowd ]
All Rights Reserved.