For decades, children of all ages have come up missing. It is a tragic and terrifying event when a child cannot be found, and no one suffers greater than the parents. There have been faces on the back of milk cartons from years ago, to flyers posted across city streets in hopes someone sees them and has information. Beginning in 1996, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) teamed up with Wal-Mart in efforts to reunite families with their missing children.
Though not everyone has their child taken from them, those who are parents know the stabbing feeling of worry when we cannot find our child in a supermarket, or playground, or any public place. For a split, second children may wander off and be recovered instantly.
It is not that we are bad parents, it only shows how fast they disappear and the feelings and emotions that go with it. Every parent has felt this at some point or another. However, for the parents that are on the wall in Wal-Mart, or Sam’s Wholesale stores, those parents live the worst nightmares every day knowing their child may never come home.
In over 3,000 stores across the nation, there is a Missing Children’s Network Bulletin Board placed in every store. In 2005, the chain retail stores and the NCMEC saw there were positive stories where they made a difference in the world. Efforts have expanded and continued to this day.
The CEO and President of NCMEC Ernie Allen, stated, “We know that 134 children were recovered after callers to 1-800-THE LOST specifically stated they recognized a child’s photo on a Wal-Mart or SAM’S CLUB board.”
Many see this poster inside the well known retail chain store. Most of us do not give it a second look because we are not thinking about what is on the walls, or maybe we feel it is not relevant because we may never see those kids. Then some take a closer look and study the board and the pictures on them.
Maybe from one child to another, this little boy felt he needed to take things one step further. A photo was taken of a boy kneeling and praying in front of the board of missing children. The boy or his mother were never identified, but the picture went viral on social media.
The caption on the photo read, “I had to run into Walmart. I turned around to make sure my son was next to me. Instead of finding him by my side, I found him kneeling in front of the missing children board praying.”
Apparently, the mother felt the sheer panic for a second or two, realizing her child was not at her side. Once again, this doesn’t, by any means, make for a bad parent. But seeing her child kneeling down to pray for his own kind had to have melted her heart.
With the pure innocence of a child and the sign of a good parent teaching their children how to pray for others, it gives a glimmer of hope for the next generation.
Everything we do in our life, whether young or old, has an impact of some sort on others. As this photo was not recent, it appears to have started going viral from July 18, 2017, from 85.9 KVNE, an East Texas Christian music station.
To date, the photo has been viewed by over 100,000 people off the original alone. This does not include how many more thousands, if not millions, of shares it received.
It is also unknown if the photo was staged or if it happened the way stated in the caption. Either way, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is the attention that goes to the missing children’s board.
How many of us stop and look at the wall in Wal-Mart or Sam’s Wholesale? Many people took the time after seeing this photo, and it could have saved hundreds of more lives or reunited missing children to their loved ones. All of this from one picture of innocence.
Some critics made the comments, “prayer doesn’t bring these children home.” They feel that only action does. It shows how closed-minded some people are and only think inside the box.
What they didn’t realize was what they were saying. Because this child prayed, the wall was exposed to social media, the news, and radio stations bringing hundreds home if not thousands. The prayer really did work!