Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jesus 911

The "Homeless Jesus" statue in Hamilton, Ont. has been mistaken for a real person following a cold weather alert this week.

May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
 walk with you on the road.
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands
 stretch out your hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart
 open your hearts to love.
May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet,
 and may everyone you meet
 see the face of Christ in you.

Recently I wrote about those "sleeping rough" in Belleville through these cold winter nights and those who help them.  I got a response from Nightlight Belleville,
a Christian drop-in located downtown. It thanked me for drawing attention to this reality with a reminder that we don't see what we're not looking for. This is true for the homeless and the marginalized. Most of the people who come for meals at Bridge St United Church through Inn from the Cold have places to sleep, but not much more. They tend to be invisible in our culture.

It's encouraging that people do "have a care" in different communities across Ontario. A cold weather alert issued in Hamilton, earlier this week prompted a tongue-in-cheek reminder from paramedics that a “Homeless Jesus” statue located next to St. Patrick Catholic Church is not real. Concerned folk have been phoning about the guy sleeping on the bench, and the paramedics are required to respond. They don't have anything against Jesus, it's just that they can't do much for him.

As Christians we have a different mandate from these first responders. We are encouraged to see Jesus in the "lonely and the lost." We don't have to call 911 to make a difference.


1 comment:

Judy said...

I would like to see Belleville provide housing for every homeless person... other communities have done it and found the cost is less in the long run