|Photo image courtesy of Cathy Yeulet via 123rf.com|
I can remember it like it was yesterday. The appliance guy asked me to sign the slip confirming delivery of our brand new refrigerator as my pudgy toddler waddled around us. In only a diaper and sporting more than one hard, angry, bruise in odd places, he was quite the sight. The delivery man looked at him, looked at me, and just shook his head in disgust. He didn't have to tell me what he was thinking.
|Courtesy of National Hemophilia Foundation|
While the dreaded visit from CPS never came for us, it has for dozens of others I have served over the years. It is never easy. Mothers are particularly crushed when it happens. And in recent years, certain medical professionals have started using this difficult intervention when parents don't follow their recommended course of treatment with a child. Traumatizing is an understatement.
However, there are prayers you can pray in such a situation to the Ultimate Authority. When CPS shows up at your door...
- Pray for God to calm your heart. -- No other prayers will have any amount of worth if you are unable to remain calm. Ask the Peacegiver to grant you steady emotions so you can manage the remainder of this encounter.
- Pray for self-control. -- The initial instinct to vindicate oneself right then and there must be resisted to remain effective. Reacting impulsively, even if you believe it to be in a positive way, can be to your detriment. Holding your tongue and saying as little as possible is the wisest choice at a time such as this.
- Pray for discernment. -- Unfortunately, most of us are not equipped to deal wisely with a government agent at our door responding to accusations of mistreatment or neglect. We need to be aware of who the person is through identification. Do they have a warrant to enter your home? By law, they must also give a detailed explanation as to why they are visiting you. Ask for that if it is not offered. Pray for the wisdom to recognize that, even if this person at your door seems extremely nice, they are more often than not arriving with the expectation that they may have to remove your child from your home.
- Pray for kindness. -- It is difficult not to be nasty and defensive when met with an adversarial confrontation. Yet, courtesy will win the day. You can be polite but firm with the help of the Holy Spirit. Treat that social worker the same way you would want to be treated in the same situation. That kindness can't help but leave a positive impression.
- Pray for the Truth to be revealed. -- There is nothing that is hidden from God. He knows if you are innocent. He also knows if something unknown to you has happened to your child. Pray that this unexpected confrontation would be used for your good, your child's good, and for the glory of God. Pray that the truth would be exposed in this situation.
- Pray for forgiveness. -- I have not met a single parent going through the angst of dealing with CPS who has not wanted to wring the neck of the person who turned them in. Whether it be a nosy neighbor, a judgmental relative, or a misguided professional, this type of visit shakes your world to the core. You will likely never know who turned you in, but despite the burning anger inside you, you should pray for whoever it was. Pray for their good intentions or pray for their critical spirit. Thank God that you live in a culture that cares about your child's safety. Then pray to release the bitterness from the situation. You will most certainly have to repeat this prayer more than a few times.
- 10 Things You Should do if CPS or DCFS is Investigating You [While this link takes you to a specific attorney's website, this is a form-article that can be found online at several attorneys' web pages. It still contains sound advice. Posting a link to this article does not constitute endorsement of the attorney on whose page it appears.]
- Retaliation: A Primer via Wrightslaw