Sometimes Discernment is Not Needed. Saturday, February 13, 2010

This past Tuesday, big boy’s case was reviewed in court.

Prior to entering the courtroom, several of his family and friends of the family took time to talk with me.

To preface, I have to say, I have talked with his family and family friends many times in the past.  They are very friendly people that seem to have genuine hearts.  They are in a bit of a pickle with big boy’s situation, but are friendly, warm people.

This time, I saw them under different circumstances.  I knew they were fighting to have big boy placed with one of the family friends – a situation we knew would not be in his best interests.

I went into court with a more guarded heart than usual.  To be honest, I was a bit angry beneath my skin.  My biggest point of concern was – who was thinking about big boy?

Don’t get me wrong – I know there was a lot of thinking going on.  A lot of manipulation, a lot of enabling, and their own pain of loss in the mixture.

I am not saying I was right to be upset – I am just stating the fact that I was.

As the family friend (who desired to have big boy placed with her) talked with me, I was holding my endless thought stream to myself.  She said things that I would have liked to respond to.  Oh, how I wanted to.  I wanted to tell her the things I knew that she didn’t know.  But, I knew it would be wrong to do so.  It would not help big boy…

She then made this statement to me:  “Big boy’s dad is a great dad.  He takes such good care of the children.”

Let me be clear – I am not going to agree or disagree with her opinion.  Truth be told, I don’t know him well enough to make that judgement call.  When he is with big boy, they have a grand time playing together and he is an extremely kind person at visits.

As she shared all the wonderful things big boy’s dad demonstrates while in her house, it hit me:  Sometimes discernment is not needed.

It really doesn’t matter if I think he is a good dad or if anyone else thinks he is a good dad.  It doesn’t matter for any birth parent in his situation.  I am not singling out big boy’s dad.  I am merely stating a fact that regardless of our “thoughts” on the matter, justice prevails.

Big Boy’s dad is literally given a checklist that has to be completed.  It doesn’t matter if he is nice or mean (to some extent)…It just matters whether he completed the checklist or not.

The court system has literally eliminated a need for discernment.

The only thing they want to know is:  DID YOU DO WHAT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO?  And then it has to be PROVED with a paper trail.

As the family friend endlessly communicated the confusing plans she weaved for the family to reunite quickly and come together as a whole family, I realized it was out of order.

I looked at her and mentally turned aside her plans to enable the situation…  I kindly told her that in this situation, discernment is not needed.  The courts are here for a reason.  There is a checklist.  We are here to be a blessing to the family and to take excellent care of big boy until that checklist is completed.  Furthermore, we rely on God in these situations.  If big boy is better off to live in her home, then we believe God is the one who will make that choice – not mere men.  Should the court rule for him to live with her, then we will trust God watched over that decision.  And the same for us.  If he is ruled to remain in our home, then we will trust God watched over that decision too.

As the words came out of my mouth, the conversation stuttered and then finally stopped.  There wasn’t anything more to say.  Truth entered the conversation.  I can’t say I was pleased that I said what I said.  I often say too much.  There are times truth is better held to the heart so it can walk itself out on display with not even a whisper. And if this was one of those moments, I failed.  Whatever the case, it did not make an eternal difference and I felt the confusion of her plans dissipate in the fresh peace atmosphere.

As I waited to be called to court, I was relieved to know no one, except God, was in charge of discernment.

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