In Denmark, children are often left unattended in strollers on the sidewalk while their parents dine or shop. The parents feel quite safe doing this, as it is a custom of that country. However, that certainly isn't the case in New York City!
Ms. Sorensen left her 14-month-old daughter, Liv, in a stroller on the sidewalk next to a restaurant's plate-glass window, while she and the baby's father went inside. Waiters and customers suggested that they should bring the baby inside, but the couple insisted she would be fine. But then a customer called 911. Officers charged both parents with endangering the welfare of a child, and the couple spent three days in jail.
Finally, a family court judge ordered that the child, which had been placed in foster care, should be returned to her parents. The couple still faced appearances in criminal court as well as family court, before authorities dropped all charges.
Parents in Denmark were astonished. Danish Consulate spokesman Kim Christiansen stated that a Dane would find it very strange that one could "actually be charged here with leaving your child outside a place very near where you could see what was going on." New Yorkers were equally astonished that someone would actually leave their child in a stroller on the sidewalk. You see, people in New York are accustomed to having to chain their garbage cans and even flower pots to keep them from being stolen.
Customs between Denmark and New York City are vastly different, at least in this one regard. They are so different, in fact, that one could actually be arrested for not understanding the difference!
If the difference is that great between two countries on the same planet, then it should be no surprise that those of us who are citizens of Another Kingdom should at times feel out of place and homesick. There is a vast difference between the place we've called Home for all our lives, and the place we call our Heavenly Home. Our dual citizenship sometimes means that we are placed in conflict with earthly customs and philosophies. Paul wrote, "Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ . . ." (Phil. 3:19b-20a)
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com