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    Child Abuse Contest Winner 
 Category:  Spiritual Fiction
  Posted: May 13, 2021      Views: 103

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I love creativity and creation. They blend so well because we are designed to love the Creator. I love the Bible for its poetry. The book of Job for me, is breathtaking. The gifts of nature enthrall me and I must either paint them or write about them - more...

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
This work has reached the exceptional level
Parental love and training produces strong people
"Love Never Fails" by Bonnie Seach

They're at it again! Those bears are going to get real hungry and come storming in here looking for food. They are dangerous, I tell you."

"I see what you mean Joe. I'll get Mayor Pierce to call a meeting so that we can decide what to do."

What was the problem? Two old ladies overheard the conversation and immediately spread the word around town. The townsfolk of Churchill, situated on the Arctic circle, were accustomed to seeing Polar bears on their outskirts.

The bears had not entered the town and caused any harm up to that stage.
The concern was that global warming
was robbing the animals of their habitat and food supply.

These enormous, powerful animals could pose a threat to the people, if things got much worse.

The Mayor hammered on the podium for order in the hall. He asked for a vote in favour to capture the 4 adult bears and their 6 cubs and destroy them. Silence...

Then whispering, shuffling, chairs scraping on the floor. Old Ben Hill approached the Mayor's stand and handed him a note. It had a name and contact details penciled on it.

Mayor Pierce asked for an explanation.
Joe stood up, "Mr. Mayor, the people want you to engage this man to come to Churchill and offer the best solution. We will donate toward his expenses and accommodation while he is here. He is a psychologist and has written many books on serial killers."

Mayor Pierce turned a lighter shade of purple,
"This is preposterous! What has this got to do with Polar bears?"

Ben got up, "Mr. Pierce, please, the man has studied the behaviour of Polar bears in the wild and can assess whether our bears are dangerous or not. We can't just wipe out the poor creatures. Let's give them a chance."

The hustle and bustle quietened down and the Mayor said he would see what he could do.
The topic buzzed around Churchill for ten days and then Henry Brooke arrived.
He was a mild looking man of medium stature, with thinning hair and spectacles balancing on the bridge of his nose.
He listened to the stories about the bears, made notes and asked to be taken to the bears' play ground on the outskirts of town.

He set up a 'hide' nearby and for 3 days studied the movements, activities and habits of 4 adults and 6 cubs. He took photos and video shots of the animals as they played among, and on, the stacks of used motor vehicle tyres abandoned in the field.
He recorded everything.

The townsfolk gathered in their hall to hear Mr. Brooke's verdict.

"The bears are healthy, well fed and playful. They are content. For that reason they pose no danger. Leave them be. Don't interfere with them. It is important for them to have recreation. The adults need to teach the cubs about life skills and orientation.
They do this by playing."

Of course there were the usual protesters, but generally the people were relieved and pleased. They resolved to start a fund and small society dedicated to the well-being of their Polar bears. In the documentation handed to Mayor Pierce, Henry Brooke included interesting findings mentioned in one of his books about serial killers. Invariably, it was noted that they were stunted in emotional and social development by having been deprived of play activities, integration and childhood experiences, and their basic needs were not met.

What has this account got to do with child abuse? Everything.

Child neglect is a form of child abuse.
To thrive and develop as a well adjusted, balanced, happy human being, an infant needs to be nurtured. Its needs must be met to make it feel secure and loved. Its senses need to be explored, inspected, and grown. It must find its place in the family, among its peers, in the community and in society as a respected and valued member.

Each human has a birthright. The right to live and to enjoy a successful and meaningful life. Each parent has a responsibility to help their child attain it.

Nurturing or nature? Nature proposes the theory that human personality and temperament are inherited through our biology and genes. Nature proposes that it is our environment and childhood experiences that shape who we are, who we become.

Dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional children. Substance abuse is one of the main causes of child abuse.
While teaching 10 and 11 year old schoolchildren life skills, it was tragically apparent how children were subjected to sexual molestation and physical injury by a parent or parents while they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs...or both.

The damage done to these little ones scars them for a lifetime. At one point a survey revealed an alarming incidence of suicide among preteens. Abandonment, emotional trauma, confusion, self doubt, guilt, and self esteem crumble; the scaffolding necessary to support an individual through life's challenges, collapses.

I used to see a school bus drive around my neighborhood with the words emblazoned on its sides:
If only this was mandatory.

How can we make nobody's child, everybody's child? Is there a way to give to a child what its biological parents failed to do? Where do we find the answers?
The answers are available.
The Bible is written as a manual for life. The Creator had it written for our instruction. God's will is that families stick together.

The family that prays together, stays together. Responsibility is placed upon parents to raise their children in a way enabling God to love them and in a way enabling children to know and love God.

The Bible ensures that love is the answer for improving relationships with one another and provides everything necessary for us to raise happy, well adjusted children.

There is the heartwarming story about a family of five living in their motor car.

At first the family of 5 lived in a small flat near the harbour. Both parents succumbed to substance abuse. Obtaining drugs was easy for a while, and affordable. They got what they wanted from sailors off the merchant vessels docked in the busy port.

Gary, the husband, found his needs growing stronger and they surpassed wife Maureen's requirements.
The sailors demanded more where payment fell short.

Addiction controlled the couple and almost destroyed the family.
Gary offered his wife to the sailors to satisfy their sexual desires.The sailors supplied them with drugs in return. When Maureen protested, Gary threatened her with harming the children.

Maureen was delivered to the sailors on a ship and gang - raped.

If during her fleeting sober moments she struggled against the men, they beat her and handed her back to Gary in serious condition.

The family were evicted from their scanty dwelling and slept in their motor car.

Neighbours reported their situation to welfare officials. Gary was admitted to a rehabilitation facility and Maureen was admitted to hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The three young ones were put in foster care.
Gary's case was submitted to family jurisdiction and placed under the supervision of the Senior Welfare Officer at a Rehabilitation Centre. When Maureen was discharged from hospital she was accommodated at the Centre and included in a recovery programme.

It was amazing to find that Gary and Maureen had affection for each other and while sober they displayed a viable relationship. Administrators were in a quandary as to what to do.

Winifred, the senior Welfare Officer was against keeping the family apart.

"Granted they were living in their motor car. But they had food and were warm. The children had toys and were taken to play grounds for exercise and recreation. The parents while sober, gave their kiddies a lot of attention and their father was teaching them to read and do their schoolwork. Their mother did domestic work to buy food and a few other necessities. The children were happy with their parents and each other."

The Nursing Manager of the Centre disagreed.

"The parents neglected to keep up to date with the children's vaccinations, dental care and general health requirements. The children are susceptible to all sorts of diseases and prone to accidents and injury. They need responsible supervision. They have been absent from school and are falling behind. We must think of their future and their integration with society."

The Accountant for the Centre was concerned about finances.

"We have to think about costs you know. The Centre doesn't run on thin air. Funding is difficult and this family will not be able to pay for accommodation, food and treatment. The children will have to remain under foster care. The parents must be rehabilitated and helped to find gainful employment. We must make the necessary arrangements through the Magistrates Court."

Winifred cringed. The Nursing Manager looked distressed, no doubt regretting her input about healthcare being neglected...
The accountant looked determined.

A Senior Nurse was present for this discussion since she had entered with the Family's file, as requested. The committee turned to her:
"What do you think Sister Lovemore?"

Sister Lovemore was spiritually inclined. She loved reading the Bible and patterned her life on the example of Jesus.

She looked at them with surprise. Not to be deterred she warmed to a Bible theme.

"God tells us that love never fails. There is a chapter in Corinthians that tells of the facets of Christian love. It says "love never fails". Could we try that with this family?
Teach them about love among family members, then friends and, the responsibility of parents toward their children."

"By George! I think she's got it."
The accountant got up, ready to return to his office.

"Winifred and Matron, I leave the matter in your hands. You can leave it in God's hands, and let's see what happens!"

The three women stared at each other in dismay.
Sister Lovemore was assigned the task of discussing the arrangement with Gary and Maureen.
They were happy to agree. They intimated they had been ignoring God in their lives which led to their downfall.

Winifred's team found a job for Gary and a neat little flat for the family. They made sure it was far from the harbour and sailors.

The children were settled into their school schedule.

Months went by and the family flourished. Reports from welfare visits were positive and promising.

The family were applying Bible counsel in their lives. Gary had even stopped smoking tobacco and the couple were attending an Alcoholics Anonymous programme regularly.

Matron, the Accountant and Winifred often remarked on the results and progress of the family based on Bible teachings and the principle of love.
In the tea lounge one afternoon, Winifred questioned the Accountant:
"How suddenly you agreed that afternoon after Sister Lovemore suggested reading the Bible with Gary and Maureen and learning about love. What made you instantly supportive?"

He scratched his chin and gazed past Winifred's right shoulder.
"Aaah yes! It was something I read about Polar bears in a town called Churchill. The townsfolk were afraid the bears would attack them for food. They engaged a man who had studied serial killers, to assess the situation. Mr. Brooke had written about children who had been deprived of loving care since infancy, as being most likely to develop psychopathy and sociopathy and turn into serial killers.
Churchill townsfolk voted not to impede the Polar bears' healthful development. They provided the animals with a secure and kindly environment in which they could learn from each other as a family. It worked. Polar bears did not invade the town nor cause any harm there."

Winifred nodded. "That is the essence of welfare. Support, don't deport. Help thrive, don't deprive. Facilitate, don't berate." She beamed.

Matron butted in: "That's the way. If parents are taught why, and how, most of them will give attention to the health and emotional needs of their offspring. Perhaps we should include lectures on nutrition in our rehabilitation programme. You know, how to strengthen the immune system. It keeps us healthy." She reached for an enormous slice of chocolate cake.

The Accountant asked for more tea. He looked smug.

Sister Lovemore appeared in the tea lounge at the tail end of the tale. She grinned at them, stirred her tea and declared:

"Love never fails!"
Child Abuse
Contest Winner


Author Notes
This story is based on a true account. I visited the family in their new home and found them to be happy and flourishing. They had adopted a cute mongrel pup. Maureen said it was a stray, living in the street. Compassion overwhelmed them and they took it in.They named the little female "Hope". Maureen explained: "The Bible says... "these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love". It never fails".
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