Friday, February 26, 2010

Abandoned Children

This twenty-month-old girl was discovered abandoned, crying,  locked in a men’s restroom at a Shell service station in Newark, Delaware, on Feb. 21. Later, police found a possible link to a woman thought to be her mother, whose charred body was uncovered in the remains of a fire. This NY Daily News article tells the story.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a young man went out to socialize recently, leaving his nine-month-old baby girl alone in a hotel room. Some hotel employees used a pass key to open the room  after she had been heard crying for hours. Apparently, she was alone there for thirteen hours. The story about this incident is in this Vancouver Sun article, dated Feb. 25.

The BBC Live News Channel features a story about a tiny baby girl, around two to four months old, who was abandoned in November, 2008, outside a hospital emergency room in Lincolnshire, England.

How can parents abandon their children, no matter what the circumstances are? Disclaimer: I am not talking about "tough love," which people sometimes must resort to in order to make their children aware of intolerable destructive behavior; what I refer to is parents leaving children for selfish reasons.  Imagine the unspeakable devastation of children of any age whose parents reject or go off and leave them. What can comfort such a child?

The only thing of lasting power to give solace and healing to a child’s heart broken through rejection or abandonment is the sheltering love of God.  The Bible says God is close to the brokenhearted, to children unloved and left alone. In Psalm 27: 10, David knows that “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” He will become both father and mother to children bereft of parents.

God’s love is the only perfect love. Parents are human and therefore flawed. Their love is imperfect, and they cannot hope to love unconditionally. But if they know love of any kind, they know something of God. God will heal the heart of anyone abandoned and left rejected and deeply hurt. And, too, he will forgive parents who cause such hurts.

I once met a pastor named Ruben in Mexico who made up a song he sang while he worked as a construction boss. These are the words (translated), a message to parents in a country with many abandoned children, especially near the border:  All who can hear my voice, if you have children, never leave them, never abandon them.

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