A woman called the police after she saw this unusual sculpture of Jesus.
The statue, called Jesus the Homeless, lies on a park bench near St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, North Carolina. (I enjoyed reading the NPR article, which provides more details about it.)
According to the church’s rector, Rev. David Buck, it has become typical “to see people come, sit on the bench, rest their hand on the bronze feet and pray.”
Now there are several churches around the country installing the same statue. Even Pope Francis saw a miniature version of it, and if Rome gives the approval, there will be a statue placed near St. Peter’s Basilica.
I’ve never been homeless, so I can’t pretend to understand how difficult it is. But I know what it’s like to feel emotionally homeless. I lived places where I felt unwelcome, like a stranger on someone else’s park bench, as if my very presence was an inconvenience. I also know what it’s like to move from place to place, unable to feel settled and unsure about where I belong. During those times, I felt like I didn’t have a home.
I understand why some people would be offended by this statue’s depiction of Jesus, but to me, it visually represents a message that I’ve often needed to hear: “You are not alone. Your situation may seem hopeless, but I’m with you, experiencing the struggle and understanding the depths of your pain. Always.”