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The Story of the Judgement of King Solomon is well known. Two women, each claiming to be the mother of an infant, appeal to the King for his Judgement. He rules that the baby should by cut in half and one half given to each woman. One woman cries out and says “ No! “ Give the child to her, only do not cut the child in half! “ King Solomon announced that she was indeed the Mother because the true mother would prefer to lose her child to someone else rather than see it murdered.

This morning I went to the supermarket. It is a sleepy little area, on the coast and always easy to find parking. I pulled in alongside a scruffy looking campervan – the sort of thing that the local surfers live in while they search out the next wave.

The man who owned the vehicle was standing outside, leaning in through the open sliding door on the passenger side of the truck. Perched on top of the surfboard, the blankets, the jerry cans and empty pizza boxes and the like,  were 3 little kids. Quiet as lambs. They had their little knees hard up against their chest and chins. They were sobbing.

The man was telling them that, like it or not, they had to come and see him because the Courts said that they had to.

One little voice said “ But we don’t want to. “

He continued to let them know that it was not their decision to make; that it was something that they had to put up with.

He wasn’t yelling, abusive or being unkind. He simply was telling them the truth. That, like it or not , they were spending the weekend with him because the Court Order said that they had to.

I hovered around the boot of my car, stalling for time.  Trying to decide if it was a situation worth responding to. Eventually, I decided that they had strength in numbers and he was not being abusive so I went in to the store and did my shopping.

When I returned, he was still telling the children how unfair they were being. He asked them to put their hands up and let him know who did not want to be him. Each hand was raised.

As I pulled out, I was left with an uneasy feeling.

As is the case  in so many situations, one is left troubled by the poor little kids caught in the middle of marital breakup, hard feelings, revenge and ulterior motives.

They were clean, obviously not afraid of their father – otherwise they would not have voted against him. Certainly, their living conditions were far from ideal and his truck was far from the perfect home for them on their weekend with Dad.

On the one hand, it was obvious that the children were not having a good time. On the other, who was I to make assumptions as to his Right to see his children?

Was his ex wife living in the family home and he was paying child support that left him unable to fund a home for himself? Or was he just a lazy so and so who didn’t care where he lived or what he did?

Had his ex wife twisted the children’s opinion so that they were against him regardless?

I didn’t know.

What I did find troubling was that he was spending so much time telling his 3 little kids that they had NO CHOICE BECAUSE THE COURT ORDER SAID THEY HAD TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM.

I found that sad and most unfair. On all parties concerned.

Perhaps the Dad knew that he could not provide an appropriate environment for his kids and was actually apologising? Maybe Mum had gone away for the weekend and he couldn’t take them home?

I didn’t know and will never know.

Sadly, tragically, we no longer see the wisdom and judgment of King Solomon. Some parents today would prefer their child ripped asunder and torn in half by the Courts rather than see them happy. At the moment we are seeing children ripped limb from limb before they are born; emotionally torn apart by their parents and a court system that doesn’t care and whether the child is a victim of a flawed system.

If our Courts wish to take control, then let that control be Just.  Let it advocate for the children.

To me, at present, it is simply cutting them in half and no one is there to pick up the pieces of their fractured lives.

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