Thursday, March 27, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Eight

I was fortunate enough to discover the 20th Annual Walk for Justice while I was in Springfield Illinois. The group was inter-denominational. The Stations were landmarks in downtown Springfield that could connect current events to Jesus today. I will review each station one at a time.

Station Eight: The Inner City Mission

Station Eight: Jesus meets the weeping women of Jerusalem

Jesus met sympathetic faces in the women of Jerusalem. Even if they had not heeded the words of Jesus’, ministry, they were not immune to the boldly suffering they saw as Jesus carried his cross to Calvary. Jesus stopped to console them.

As we stand here at the doors of the Inner City Mission, we are aware that present-day women and their families also need to be consoled.

The Inner City Mission provides three levels of shelter and care to single women, women with children, married couples with families and men with children: overnight emergency housing shelters a family for one night, while arrangements are made for their safe transport to relatives; extended housing consists of no more than 60 nights of shelter and supportive transitional housing, which is the primary focus of the Mission.

Emphasis is placed on providing a safe environment and basic human needs (food, clothing, transportation and guidance), so that a person may focus on identifying and addressing the causes of poverty and homelessness without concern for the safety and primary needs of life.

The U.S. census found that single motherhood is on a steep rise- growing three times as fast as couple parenthood. Single parent families often struggle with low wages and other complicating factors.

As we encounter those who are struggling to make ends meets, may we be as compassionate and caring as the women f Jerusalem were to Jesus on his way to Calvary.

Jesus, attune our hearts to hear the cries of women, single parents and their families, Give us your compassionate heart to help them bear their crosses. Lead us was we attempt top address any injustices that they encounter.

A note to any students who may be reading the Way of the Cross-2008, I received permission from the participants to post the Stations from the Walk for Justice. The goal is not to take credit for other’s writing, it is to acknowledge their event and especially to share their contemplations for compassion.

The Interdenominational Group that composed the meditations and the walk have provided all of us with a model that can be followed in our home towns. So thank you brothers and sisters in Springfield Illinois!

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