Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, "I saw the tears of the oppressed - and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors - and they have no comforter.”
Paul and Zabeth Bayne are friends of mine, Christians, at home with their three children, two small boys and a 7-week old daughter and that was when their odyssey of horror began. It was the autumn of 2007. Two small boys chasing one another in the house and the toddler fell on the infant girl who lay on a blanket on the living room floor as mom and dad did supper tasks. In the following hours the baby lost her appetite and slept a lot so the parents took her to the hospital. After a couple of days of examination, the clinical default diagnosis for her triad of symptoms was 'shaken baby.' The term itself has intimations. Authorities did not believe the parents story of a mishap. Reports between medical personnel, and police, and child protection agency workers resulted in all three children being removed from them even though there were no criminal charges against the parents. "I saw the tears of the oppressed." The Baynes' efforts to recover their family cost them the mom's grand piano (she a concert pianist), and cost them their home. They began working night shifts to be available for all the daytime visits and court appearances. One year, two years, three years passed. The Baynes had an army of supporters and advocates. A former child protection social worker critical of some Ministry mistakes advised the Baynes' lawyer Doug Christie, who donated his time and admirably argued their case. Nevertheless, during the fourth year, a fourth child was born to them and within hours that child was also removed from them. "I saw the tears of the oppressed." They waited and prayed and worked for four years before they heard a judge's order to return the four children to them (August 2011). That was an astounding and unforgettable day. Today they are a happy family living far from the trauma of those years. And the children are thriving and growing taller and older and smarter and loving.
I wrote this today, because I remember. For those years, Zabeth and I were in almost daily contact as I wrote blogs in our concerted campaign to make the public aware. News networks and newspapers and finally CBC the Fifth Estate picked up their ongoing story.