Counting: Words For Numbers

Yesterday I posted numbers without words and my reasons for doing so were far less political and dubious than what some readers assumed.

I was simply counting.

The number of Americans who took the subway to work one September morning and never rode it home.  The number of soldiering sons and daughters, friends, fathers and mothers whose chairs sit empty at kitchen tables today.  The number of men born into another belief, another politic, another tongue than my own who’ve sacrificed all for a cause they thought just.  The number of children, men and women deleted in the crossfire.

Every face shaped by the fingers and thumbs of God.  Every soul welcomed by heaven but tethered here to flesh and flags.  Every corpse a child once. Raised on Al Jazeera or Sesame Street. Reared to salute a nation’s colors and follow a holy book’s God/god. Fighting for friends or anger, freedom or justice or revenge, college tuition or eternal life. Buying fish at the market or waiting to use the copy machine.  Every one a person – a child once. A child of God always.

When children die – even grown up ones – they deserve to be counted.  They are the image of God.  We are all conduits through which God drips His illuminating stilling character into our dark bustling sliver of space and time.  We all matter.  We are all counted.

God has fingers enough for this.  Do we?

Have we spent all our fingers counting the reasons we’re right, the unjust acts of the enemy?

I hope not.

Count with me.  Because every person matters.  More than whatever else we could be counting today.