I hold a precious baby boy on one day at one place,
and a sweet baby girl another day, another place.
One, while his mama packs up donated canned goods and diapers and his daddy looks for a job, as they wait for a ride back to the hotel where they stay until they can afford their own apartment.
The other, while her mama works in a skilled position and her daddy finishes a project for medical school, and we play with her baby cellphone in her living room until I rock her to sleep in my lap.
On different days, in different places:
- Both smile when we play peek-a-boo.
- Both reach to chew on the drawstring of my jacket.
- Both hear me called Aunt Lisa (though only one is blood relative).
For now, when people see either of them, they baby talk and declare, “So beautiful!”
But how much longer?
On which day, in what place, instead of two adorable babies, will the world start seeing one as a street kid and the other as a homecoming queen?
Will they be treated differently:
- When one wears only hand-me-downs and the other smells like bubble bath?
- When one has dirty teeth and the other shiny colored braces?
- When one is on free lunch and the other pays cash?
Is one destined for poverty and the other for opportunity?
Will discrimination and privilege stay on separate tracks?
Through no fault or no merit of their own, are their courses in life, while not set, already highly predictable?
Oh, for the vision of God.
To see all as made in his image.
Oh, for the hope of God.
To believe all things are possible.
Oh, for the love of God.
To give grace to all the same.
. . . regardless of rags or riches, of scarcity or surplus, of housing or education or parentage.
On which day, in what place, can the paths of these two babies ever cross?
Oh, Lord, have mercy . . . .
* * *
Be the grace. Hug your baby a little tighter today. Hug someone else’s baby a little tighter, too. Pray for them both.
Who in your world needs extra compassion? How can you lessen discrimination in your circle of influence? Please share.
- Does it matter?
- Baby, it’s cold outside – February Daybook