Thursday, March 27, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Six

Homeless in America

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 Six: Lincoln Library, where the homeless get out of the cold, Grace Lutheran food pantry, 7th and Capitol

Station Six: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus, you said. “The birds of the air have nests, and the beasts of the field have dens, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

You knew what it is to be without a home, and so the homeless are always close to you in a way those of us who take for granted four walls and a roof cannot imagine.

Who knows? Here in Springfield and across the globe in shelters and refugee camps and illegal cities, it may be that the prayers of the homeless are keeping the Earth in its orbit even as we speak.

It may be that we’ll find You as Veronica did when we cross the borders of our comfort to work in homeless shelters, transitions programs, hiring efforts or to join community organizations like Homeless United for Change.

Or when we build low income housing, fund supportive housing programs, Housing First programs, and full service day centers where homeless people can find resources and community.

It may be that we will find You when the homeless get a voice in decisions made about them….

Help us to gather together what we have, bless it and share it, as you did that day on the mountain.
Help us see that when our leaders say, “Some must die so that we may live,” they are dealing death not only to those they target but also those they wish to protect and to the Earth itself.
Help us live in a way that replenishes what we take from the earth.
Help us conserve our natural resources and refuse to exploit and degrade the resources of others.
Help us create food policies that protect our health and the environment.
Help us to create trade policies that are fair to small farmers here in the United States and worldwide.
Teach us to share and to sustain so that we can find Your abundance.

While we were singing, praying and reading a homeless man with a cart went past us. He was concerned about interrupting us and apologized. He was caring for us.

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