By: Godwin Gyimah, Indiana District, PIWC Lafayette
It’s been weeks since the world lost a brother of color in the United States. George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, died on May 25 after 8 minutes and 46 seconds of breathing difficulty when police officer Mr. Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck while Floyd was handcuffed. On the night of May 25, an employee at a Minneapolis grocery store called the State’s Police, for it is alleged, Floyd tried using a $20 bill counterfeit to buy a cigarette. In the post-death moment, America and other parts of the world have experienced continuous protests. As a Christian, my reflection dawn on Floyd’s cry, moments before his death. While Mr. Chauvin’s left knee was on Floyd’s neck, Floyd said, “I can’t breathe, Mama.” Afterward, nothing could be heard of Floyd again. At the point of his death, Floyd’s assurance was in his dead mother, Larcenia Jones Floyd.
Per a report by Lonnae O’Neal, which has been published on the National Geographic Website, Floyd’s mother though not available, she was used as a sacred invocation. Mr. Floyd mentioned his Mama’s name as a hope of remembrance as he kept saying, “Mama! I’m through.” Calling a mother is seen as the prayer of many people with the assurance that Mama could come to their aid and save them or provide them security. In the case of Big Floyd, was he communicating with the dead-his mother, or the memory of his mother dawned on him as he passed through the pain? Per Civil War Battlefield Reports, most soldiers call upon their mothers whenever they are at the point of death. The calling upon one’s mother at the point of death has become the ritual for most individuals, even Christians today. Was there any extraordinary power in the name of his Mama, which prompted him to call upon the mother, or he was expressing emotion towards a mother whom he believes could save him and give him the best of life or his mother’s love was his main source of motivation in life? We all know the love of a mother, and that has over the years shaped the way we applaud women during mothers’ day. But does the hope of a Christian lie in the name of a dead mother? Where was the saving power of God?
Big Floyd is identified as an individual who left a Gospel legacy in Houston, Texas. “A person of peace” as most people described him; he opened ministry opportunities in the Third Ward housing projects. He was committed to the spread of the Gospel, and according to Pastor Patrick PT Ngwolo, the Pastor for Resurrection Houston, Big Floyd was sent from the Lord to help in the accomplishment of the Great Commission (Mathew 28:19). Floyd moved to Minneapolis in 2018 for a job opportunity through a discipleship program. As a Christian, what then should have been his secret place or hope of assurance- his mother or the Lord Jesus?
Before David became a King, he used the cave of Adullam as his center for plea and refuge. In times of danger, as Saul pursues him, David used the cave as a place to seek assurance from the Lord (1 Samuel 22:1 & Psalm 142). In the New Testament, when Stephen was being stoned to death, he cast his eyes “into heaven and saw the glory of God (Acts 7:55-56).” In our contemporary times, we see even atheists mentioning the name of the Lord Jesus whenever they are on the verge of accident or danger. Unbelievers seek the face of the Lord Jesus even at the point of death. What then could be the faith of Christians, whom He has called, justified, sanctified, and glorifying.
Although the storms of life may threaten you, Jesus is the anchor of your soul. As believers, any form of hardship is not new to us, for the Bible has informed us of challenges that are part of our baptism of suffering as Christians. Christ, our hope foresaw all the challenges ahead, and He prayed for us (John 17:15-19) that we are protected. Christians belong to Jesus, the shepherd of their soul. He has provided all the things Christians need to survive through His divine power( 2 Peter 1:1-3). The Greek version of the Bible uses “Agkuran,” for the anchor, meaning “something that does not slip.” Christ is in all Christians as the hope of glory and He intercedes for all Christians, even at the point of death. Could it be Big Floyd was predestined to die in such a manner, or at the mentioning of the name of the Lord Jesus, he could have been saved? Maybe he could or not, we leave this question as part of the many what-if questions in human history, though one cannot downplay the saving power of the Lord Jesus in such a situation. There may be something kneeling on your neck today- it could be a physical or spiritual challenge, but if you can confess Jesus Christ, He will give you comfort and eternal life (Acts 16:31).