Monday, May 3, 2010

Operation Smile

Yesterday I sat with my family and watched a touching program about children born with cleft lip and cleft palate defects. Children born with this condition in third world countries are outcast and ridiculed because they look different. They often do not attend school due to severe teasing by other kids.

To learn more about cleft defects, click here.

A baby born in the USA will receive corrective surgery shortly after birth and will live a normal life. But in certain areas of the world, the people are too poor or there is no doctor who is trained to perform this procedure. As a result, these children grow up with deformed faces and their chance at a normal life is nill.

Fortunately, there is a program called Operation Smile that provides some relief. With the use of volunteer doctors, nurses, and other very generous people, they are able to go to these children and provide them with a life-changing operation that will make their face look normal. This charity is funded entirely by donations.

It was truly tear-jerking to see these children and their parents as they received this wonderful service. Many of them wept tears of joy at the chance they and their children had received to live a normal life. Even though the families and the nurses often spoke different languages, there was a true feeling of love and brotherhood.

It brought tears to my eyes as I sat and watched it.

If any of my readers are willing and can afford to donate, please visit It is a very worthwhile charity.

It was a beautiful program and I was enjoying it until someone said of a child who's face had been corrected, "Thank God."

That just ruined it for me. In fact, it made me angry.

You see, "god" deserves absolutely no credit for the wonderful service this charity provides. In fact, if you believe in god as he is generally thought to be, then you believe that god gave these children deformed faces. God is not to thank for this service; god is to blame for it.

It was the very generous donations by average people that made this possible. It was the selfless doctors and nurses who volunteer their time and skills.

It angered me because god, who actually gave the child his/her facial defect (if you believe in that sort of thing), is being praised on this show for the good things that are being done. It angered me because god does not deserve a shred of credit. Again, all the credit goes to the generous people who donated and to the doctors and nurses.

I did not mean to detract from the spirit of love and compassion that this charity provides by throwing in my interjection about god. But I truly feel that credit should be given where it is due. And in this case, god did NOTHING to help these poor children. NOTHING! All he did is give them a deformed face and then ignore their prayers to simply be normal.

One little boy they featured would pray every day for a normal face. He finally got his badly needed operation. But who did it? God? or a skilled surgeon? A skilled surgeon.

I just feel that credit should be given to the correct people; and that is to the kind, generous people who give financially. And again, it is the doctors and nurses who so generously volunteer their time. God deserves no credit and it offends me that anyone would even think to thank him for this service when he had nothing to do with it.

When I pointed this out to my wife, even she had to admit that I have a good point.

Okay, thanks for letting me rant. But seriously, if any of my readers have the means, I strongly encourage you to give what you can to this very noble cause.


Faith said...

I was watching a documentary not too long ago, where a surgeon and camera crew were able to go to North Korea and perform eye operations. Without exception, everyone who was unwrapped and found that they could see began bowing before a picture of Kim Jong Il and thanking him for their vision.

And I have definitely observed the cognitive dissonance when I was praying about something minute only to find out that at the same time something major (World Trade Center attacks) was going on at the same time. Didn't make any sense then, and it doesn't make any sense now.

Redspect said...

"If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it
Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!