I confess to having a very heavy heart at present, mainly due to this, which is emblazoned on the news coverage everywhere you look.......
What has happened must be every loving parent`s worst and most feared nightmare.
My heart aches for a very scared and possibly extremely badly-treated or even (God forbid) abused and murdered little girl.
Please God she will be returned unharmed to her family, though as each day passes, this is sadly increasingly unlikely.
How could anyone kidnap a three year old child ?
There are some evil people around.
No matter what the outcome, little Madeleine McCann`s parents will have to live with the guilt and heartache of having deliberately left their three children (under the age of 4) all alone in a Portuguese apartment whilst they chose to go and have a meal at a restaurant nearby.
They did this even though their resort offered a free evening creche with fully qualified and vetted staff for parents wishing to do this sort of thing.
These particular parents are not ill-educated, they are both doctors and they should have had more sense. It doesn`t matter that one or other of the parents was popping back every half an hour to check on the sleeping children. Disaster still struck.
Children can get into all sorts of mischief when unsupervised. Imagine if little Maddy had tried to boil the kettle in the apartment, or used the cooker ? Or run the bath tub full of water ? Or opened the door and went wandering off to the swimming pool ?
If it had happened in Britain to a poorly educated young mother living on state benefits, her remaining children would have been taken off her and placed into foster care on the grounds that she was not capable of taking care of them properly.
Because this couple are middle-class, well-educated and doctors to boot, they retain custody of their two remaining children.
Perhaps this is something the authorities should be re-evaluating when this family return to the UK........
I continue to pray for this poor little girl, whose fourth birthday will be this coming Saturday.
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy.
And for her parents and extended family, may God grant them strength and grace to endure.