Sunday, January 7, 2018

A home for the baby

In 1 Kings 3:16-28, we read the following story:
"Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.    One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me.   The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.   “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.    So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.    The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”   The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”  But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.  The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’  Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”  Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”   When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice."
Typically, we hear this story and don’t think much of it, but recently, we had somewhat of a similar incident here at Kudjip.  A mom passed away shortly after giving birth and both the mom’s and dad’s family were fighting over who should keep the baby.  Normally the baby should go to the dad, but in PNG the husband customarily pays a brideprice prior to the marriage, which then means that the children are part of his family.  Without paying the brideprice, there can be tension between the families as to who gets the baby, which is what happened in this family.  This little baby was definitely caught in the middle as one day the dad’s family would show up asking for the baby, and the next day the mom’s family would show up asking for the baby. 

Thankfully, we were never asked to be the judge and the families eventually worked things out on their own, and so our care of the little baby came to an end.  All babies need a loving home and we surely believe this one has finally found one.