He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children – Luke 1:17

This afternoon a sweet little face I recognised from my daughter’s birthday party pulled me aside at schoool. She was looking for her little sister. She told me the people who were meant to pick her up from school had not showed up. She was wondering if they had taken her little sister, but forgotten her

I wanted to hug this crestfallen girl. I had no idea what happened to her little sister, but I felt there was a choice to make. Would I put my afternoon’s plans on hold to help her find her sister and her ride home? Or would I leave her in the hands of an Education Department bureaucrat. It was a no brainer. If it was my child, I’d choose a friendly mum over a friendly bureaucrat any day.

My daughter and I found the little sister waiting patiently in her prep classroom for a ride home. I would happily have driven the girls home if I knew where they lived or that someone would be there when we arrived. Instead, we took the girls to the school office where mum and dad were both phoned on mobiles. Both calls went to voicemail and I wondered how long we would need to wait at the office to figure this out.

Maybe it was the story of Daniel Morcombe that compelled me. Only yesterday, his alledged killer was arrested and today we all wore red to remember him. With his little boyish grin in my mind, I felt I owed it to these girls to stay with them and not place them in the hands of bureaucrats. I thought, too, about the example I wanted my daughter to see. Together, the four of us waited for a phone call from their parents. We played games. We read their school readers. Eventually a lady in the office told us that Dad had called and he was on his way from work. He had a fair distance to travel and he would have had to leave work early to get his two girls, but Dads do what they have to.

I was relieved when their Dad arrived and we left school two hours after I had pulled into the carpark for the afternoon pick up. While it interrupted our day, I felt happy that the girls had been cared for. My daughter and I had given them the gift of company and care on an uncertain afternoon. One where the two tiny little girls were not quite sure what to expect next.

It might not have been a huge gift, but to these young girls today, we gave the gift of love and we kept them safe when they were vulnerable. If only someone had done that for Daniel.