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News You Can Use
By David Bachelor, PhD
Although it was Mother’s Day weekend only on the American side of the Atlantic, both sides of the pond featured a set of young siblings making the headlines. One of the takeaways for readers is gratitude that the mothers of these siblings did not choose to have only one child.
Over in England, the siblings in the headlines are the grandchildren of King Charles III. The May 13th headline on the internet news source Geo was, “Throne Room Has ‘Lovely Buzz’ With George, Charlotte and Louis Around.” The article provided snippets of the siblings as they participated in last week’s coronation: “Prince George, 9, had a major role in the Coronation as [one of] . . . the Pages of Honor.” Princess Charlotte,8, was “. . . praised for looking out for her little brother.” Prince Louis,5, who had endured an early start and long periods of waiting, was noted for “. . . all the times he yawned during the ceremony.” The Firm (as the British press call the House of Winsor) made a good impression as it raises up the future ruler of the realm.
The American side of the pond features siblings of a humbler origin. The major networks and a range of other media (e.g., People Magazine and USA Today) are carrying a brother-helps-sister story, but all the coverage is based on a single Associated Press report. AP did not even bother to obtain a picture of anyone quoted in their article. On May 13th, the ABCNews.com version of the siblings’ story had the headline, “Teen uses slingshot to save sister from alleged kidnapper.” The incident took place in a rural area of Michigan. An 8-year-old girl was in her backyard when she was attacked by a stranger. A police spokesman described it, “The suspect had come through the woods onto the property and came from behind her, grabbed her like you’d see in the movies — hand over the mouth, arm around the waist — and was attempting to pull her into the woods.” The girl’s 13-year-old brother saw the attack and responded by shooting his sister’s abductor in the head and chest with his slingshot. The suspect released the girl and fled. Police were able to identify the attacker because of the slingshot wounds he had on his body.
The Bible has a siblings’ story that combines royalty and salvation-by-slingshot. The narrative is about David before he became king of Israel. David was the youngest of eight brothers (1 Sam 16:10-11). His three eldest brothers were in the army fighting against the Philistines (1 Sam 17:13). The Philistines had a 9-foot-tall giant named Goliath who humiliated the soldiers of Israel every day because everyone (including David’s three brothers) was afraid to fight Goliath (1 Sam 17:10-11). David wanted to deal with Goliath, but the king of Israel told David, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a kid, and Goliath has been a warrior from his youth” (1 Sam 17:33). David was finally allowed to fight the giant. Goliath brought body armor, a shield, a sword, and a massive spear to the encounter. David only had his shepherd’s crook and his slingshot with 5 rocks (1 Sam 17:40). It only took one shot from David’s slingshot to put the giant down (1 Sam 17:49). By killing Goliath, David saved his brothers and the army of Israel (1 Sam 17:51-52). Later David would be king of Israel (2 Sam 5:3).
Mother’s Day is over now. For everyone who is not an only child, I hope you appreciate the additional gift your mother gave you besides the gift of life. This week’s stories show the advantages of having siblings. The Bible also speaks about the advantage of siblings, “If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecc 4:11-12). Thanks Mom.