Baby Snatcher

January 4, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)

A large man was kicking in my front door, interrupting the nap that I'd been taking with my children, ages three and four. "I want my kids!" he was screaming.

There was no time to run and hide, so I bundled my sleepy two under the blanket, shushed them and sat up, praying hard. "I'm afraid you've got the wrong house …" I began.

He advanced on me, anguish in his eyes. "Everybody in the neighbourhood knows that a baby snatcher lives here! Where are my kids?"

Baby snatcher! He meant Child Services Worker, my husband's current employment.

"Why don't I let you talk to my husband," I said, picking up the phone before he could get closer. "This is an emergency," I told the agency. "Let me speak to my husband." Right away, his quiet, friendly voice was on the line.

No time to explain. I handed the phone to the big man, who held back tears as he took it.

"I want my kids!" the man said without preamble.

"I haven't got them," I could hear my husband say, "but I know where they are. I'll be right with you, and we'll go see them."

The man growled a reluctant assent. "Let me talk to my wife just a sec?" my husband continued.

A large hand passed the phone to me. "You okay?"

I said that we were, as the three-year-old poked his head out of the blanket and said, "Mama?"

Suddenly, I saw the big man, not as a threat, but as a soul suffering one of the worst things that can happen to a parent. We'd just moved to this poor community. Word seemed to have gotten around quickly that the new neighbour was what they called a baby snatcher — someone with the authority to take away their children if they messed up.

Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. (NLT)

This man had lost his gift and his reward in one swoop from an agency employee. What could he do? No wonder pain — and God — had brought him to me.

The door opened, and my husband came in, a head shorter and many pounds lighter than the intruder. He crossed the room, holding out his hand. "Let's go find your kids right now!" he said as the man got to his feet. "We'll take my car."

Relieved, the father mumbled "Sorry" at me, and behind his back, my husband gave me a thumbs-up sign. I was only a bystander, helpless in a situation not uncommon where low income and temptations overwhelm an otherwise loving parent.

When we have an opportunity to witness to God's love in a problematic situation, before we try to do something, we need to meet people where they are, understand why they are feeling as they are, and respond with non-judgemental empathy. We need to follow the example of Jesus:

Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. (NIV2011)

Prayer: O Lord, we ask for healing amidst all the pain in this world. Strengthen us to deal with difficult situations and to be understanding of the condition of those around us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Thank you for the courage to share Rose. Blessings.


    Thanks for the encouragement from that frightening situation.


    A very powerful devotion. Thank you and God bless.
    (Fiji)


    Oh Rose how scary! Thanks be to God that everything turned out okay. God bless your work and protect you from every threat. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings.


    Good morning, Rose,
    Thanks for sharing this inspiring story. God bless all the social workers for the amazing work that they do – and the parents who do care for their children.


    Rose, daily life is very calm here, especially since online learning is once again mandated.
    Your stories bring action and intrigue into my day, and the lessons tied to God’s Word are extra memorable.
    Keep them coming.


    A good word Rose, especially for these days of Covid where tempers and patience are wearing short and fear and anxiety running high due to unemployment, sickness, lack of social and family contacts, etc.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Blessings


    Hi Rose. You are an amazing human being. I always learn something in your devotionals and often marvel at the very difficult life experiences you have handled in such a Christ-like way. Thank you for your devotionals that inspire me and teach me how to be a better person.
    (BC)


    Thank you Rose,
    A wonderful reminder to set aside judgment and meet people where they are. Thank you for sharing your own experience, as it is often the sharing of our own experiences that enable others to see what we saw/experienced.
    Blessings to you on this day.


    Dear Rose,
    What a heart-wrenching situation. And for you to have the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be understanding of this father’s situation through scripture. What a way to diffuse a situation. What a God honoring way to have met this man’s needs. Thank you for writing these devotionals that tell the touch of God on an individual’s life.


    Dear Rose,
    That was a very uneasy situation for you to handle especially with your little ones right there. Thankfully our precious Lord was with you and guided you well in handling the situation and also guiding your husband too. Relief from what could have been a very different outcome. We need be so thankful that our Lord is ever near for us to call upon before we make a wrong judgement. Blessings for these very insightful writings.


    Happy New Year dear Rose!
    What a terrifying situation, with your children just at arm’s length! You are such a brave woman. As I have mentioned before, your testimonials are always fascinating, and your trust in the Lord always shines through.
    My nephew is a baby snatcher with Ontario CAS. He says that Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year. We all have our God-given gifts. Not a job I could manage emotionally.
    Blessings to you Rose!


    Thank you Rose for this devotion.
    Reminds me of when I was camping with young boys at a Cub camp.
    Boys who were first time away from their parents.
    There was one who was so dramatized, that he needed to see his parents right away.
    I gave him assurance that they were being in good hands and miss him very much.
    Then we prayed together, for this little cub and their parents.
    Of course, all ended well.
    There were some other occasions that this devotion brought a few memories back.
    Thanks very much.
    (Quebec)


    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for helping us see the situation from the other side. It is so true that the world looks different from where you are looking at. I am reading a book which is doing that with its characters, and it is so eye opening.
    I hope that the man was able to rectify his problem and get his children back and provide a loving home. I know this was a long time ago and you don’t know the answer, but hope is what we all need.
    I believe you are living in a hotbed of Omicron as hope is what everyone needs at this moment – hope for the children to get back into school, hope that restaurants will be able to survive, hope that Jesus will come into the lives of people who badly need hope and comfort at this time.
    Best wishes to you for 2022 and that you are blessed with peace, comfort, love, health, and joy.


    Dear Mrs. DeShaw,
    You always have the most interesting stories!
    Thanks again,
    (ON)

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