Wednesday, March 23, 2011
THE BAYNE STORY IS LIKE AN ONION / 483
As you examine the first layer, you can see a faith commitment with both of them. I do not know much about either Paul or Zabeth before I met them as visitors to the church that I pastored between 1991-2001. They arrived around 1999 and they were engaged to be married. They became involved in the church. Zabeth was immediately an asset because she was an accomplished pianist. Zabeth had grown up in a conservative Christian family. Paul came to faith later but was clearly a convinced and practicing Christian.
Peeling back another layer I was able to see their love for one another, and I had opportunity over many weeks of pre-marriage counselling to know them better, and then I officiated their wedding ceremony in the summer of 2001. I respected them both and believed that they were a fine couple and would have a good marriage and life.
There are many layers of this story with which I am unfamiliar. They are the years from 2001 to 2009. I moved from that church. Yet many of you knew Paul and Zabeth during this period. You remember the jobs that Paul held, and the music lessons that Zabeth taught. You remember their children being born. Your remember Zabeth's difficulty to carry her babies to term. You remember the challenges of prematurity, particularly for one child. You remember their move with two sons from Surrey to Hope, B.C., and their purchase of property and a house.
Among those story layers, was an injury to that most premature child, fractures to an arm, initially alarming enough to order Paul away from the home until an investigation was completed and then the conclusion that the injury was an outcome of fragility due to the baby's prematurity.
Another layer displays Zabeth pregnant with a third child, and then the happy birth of a daughter.
A further layer and the peeling of this onion begins to truly make a person weep. Their daughter is only weeks old when she sustains injuries. Injuries which require Paul and Zabeth to obtain professional medical help. They are increasingly concerned as their daughter does not improve and professionals seem not to discern a cause.
Another layer of meaning informs us that the baby is in grave physical condition with bleeding in the brain and other significant symptoms. At Children's Hospital she is diagnosed and now the parents have come under suspicion of having harmed her themselves.
A couple of layers indicate great personal trauma for the Baynes, with a child receiving life saving treatment, arrests and charges of harming their children, overnight incarceration, then dropped charges, yet the intervention by the Ministry of Children and the apprehension of their children from parental custody. The tears generated by these layers of meaning affect everyone for so many reasons.
This is a very large onion with many layers of content, some of which are heavy with suspicion by the Ministry of Children and subsequently its determination after three years to ask for an order that permanently keeps the children from Paul and Zabeth. Others layers of which are concentrated with enjoyable visits between parents and children yet sorrowful as goodbyes occur weekly.
There are some layers of substance that are difficult to see, that is, our vision is clouded. Even those of you who have known the Baynes very well, cannot verify with certainty that their account of a fall between a toddler and the infant occurred. It becomes evident from Judge Crabtree's reasons for his ruling that he too struggled to discern the meaning.
Nevertheless, far beneath all those layers there is a kernel or a substance of meaning, truth you might call it. Judge Crabtree found that and announced it. This baby was not harmed by shaking by one of these parents, contrary to the diagnosing doctor and contrary to the insistence of the MCFD Director in charge. Further, because of that, in a specified period of time, six months he said, the Ministry of Children and the Bayne parents are to work together toward the satisfactory outcome of returning the children.