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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Can you see God in Michael Brown and Darren Wilson?

There has been a great deal of commentary and turmoil pertaining to the events surrounding the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri over the last several months. Some folks have suggested that Officer Darren Wilson was the instigator and aggressor in the incident, while others have insisted that young Michael Brown bears the lion's share of the responsibility for what happened that day in August.

Recently, a Grand Jury decided that Wilson should not be indicted for Michael's death. For many Blacks, this confirmed what they have believed for a long time: White police officers have been given carte blanche to harass, persecute and kill people of color. For many Whites, the decision of the Grand Jury confirmed what they had suspected all along: This hulking, black thug was culpable in his own death.

Both camps seem oblivious to the fact that two humans (same species as the rest of us) faced each other that fateful day. Two humans made, according to Scripture, in the image and likeness of Almighty God (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1-2, 9:6). Moreover, the original Hebrew words employed in these verses imply more than just appearance. In other words, we are not only a shadow of the form and shape of the Divine. On the contrary, the Bible suggests that we have been given some of the thinking, creative and emotive abilities of Almighty God. How many of us have considered these two individuals as representations (however imperfect) of God?

I didn't know Michael Brown, and I've never met Darren Wilson; but the fact that they were both made in the image and likeness of Almighty God tells me a few things about both of them. Prior to that day in August, they both had thoughts, talents and loves. They were both like me, and they were both like God. Doesn't that modify the way that we see both of them? If not, I think it should. What do you think?

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