Photographer A.J. Laberinto couldn’t believe his eyes. While out taking photos, he came upon a naked baby sleeping in the middle of a bustling public staircase. As if that isn’t startling enough, he seemed to be the only one who noticed the atrocious sight!
A.J. Laberinto was exploring the streets of Manila in the Philippines in May of 2014. While taking in the sights, he witnessed something completely heartbreaking.
On the dirty stairway of a city underpass lay a naked baby sleeping. While the scene stopped A.J. dead in his tracks, no one else took notice. The locals had become so conditioned to the epidemic of homeless street children, something this vile is disregarded as the norm.
A.J. explained the photos of the naked baby sleeping on Facebook:
“There I was, camera–celfone [sic] rather, in hand turning around the corner when I saw the child. You see, only recently I've been taking pictures of whatever sight was in front of me strolling around Manila though not that many.
So there I was, and for several seconds the baby lay there on the floor not dying but rather sound asleep. The passers-by having seen too many too much of street children and beggars knew already how to react: they just walked away.
After having finished taking the photos I then asked some familiar faces in the crowd, people who actually lived near those stairs, as to where the parent of that baby was. Lo and behold, a woman somewhat bedraggled with dirty clothes on showed up and immediately carried the baby away. All of this in a span of seconds. I bought the child food, by the way, four days ago and he's still living in the streets the very bed to sleep in he ever knew.”
While these photos may be a few years old, it’s still a stark reminder of how desensitized we can become to suffering if we’re not careful. A naked sleeping baby may shock us, but often the homeless on our own street corners do not. We pray these images will remind all of us to cling tightly to our humanity and inspire us to be the kindness and love this world so desperately needs.
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Proverbs 14:31
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