On the surface, they have nothing in common. He stood 6' 6" tall, while the other is a mere 23 inches. One lived in Minneapolis and the other is a child of Georgia. He had rich, ebony skin and hers is a soft porcelain, having rarely been kissed by the sun's direct rays. He died asking to be allowed to breathe, calling out to his mother, and the little girl has yet to say a word. He was 46, she is only eight weeks old. They're nothing alike.
She is Hazel, my only grandchild, born on March 27 of this year, and her father is Cole, our youngest son. He had been away from her and her mother for close to a week and, by the time he returned this past Thursday evening, she was already sound asleep. Rising before the rest of the household Friday, he slipped into her room, saw her still snoozing, and snapped the picture above. Then, he texted it to his own mother.
"I just want to stand here and stare at her," he wrote in his text. "She's so peaceful and beautiful."
He is George Floyd, the gentleman who died lying on the hard pavement of Minneapolis as a police officer - now fired and charged with murder and manslaughter - pressed his knee into the back of his neck while he pled for breath, for mercy, for life itself. Even after Mr. Floyd was unmoving and unresponsive, still Derek Chauvin kept his knee firm against him. It is shocking and horrifying to watch, and I've heard no one defend it.
Despite so many differences, they are exactly the same. I can guarantee you that George Floyd's mother and father often paused before his crib and had thoughts of him that exactly mirrored my son's for his daughter. They stood, and they stared, long and hard, mesmerized, amazed at the tiny creature with little brown fingers, with a cute nose and a bellybutton, a baby just learning to smile. He was beautiful, and he was peaceful. He was theirs, their pride and joy, and they watched him grow and take his first steps. They were in awe of him. Years later, they stood and cheered when he scored touchdowns and shot baskets and graduated from high school. He was incredible.
"Fearfully and wonderfully made" is how Psalm 139:14 describes human beings of all types. Genesis 1:27 says that we are made in the very image of God. All of us. No exceptions, no asterisks, no disclaimers, no "certain exclusions apply."
I truly believe that our only hope for real reconciliation, for true and authentic relationships, comes when we grasp that every kid is beautiful in the eyes of his or her parents. That every parent weeps when their child hurts and every parent celebrates when their child rejoices. And even more, that every kid is precious in the eyes of God. Fallen, frail people, the whole lot of us, are so loved that God "gave His only begotten Son" for us.
George Floyd and little Hazel. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Every. Single. Person.