Homeless Jesus

I had the special opportunity to spend a week last week at the Davidson Clergy Centre.  The program is designed to help clergy wrestle with a variety of life circumstances:  a need for self-care, handling a transition, a crisis in their personal or professional life, health concerns, burn out, a significant personal loss and so much more.  I found it to be a pure gift during this time of discernment to be able to work with counselors, a trainer, a nutritionist, life coach, and a spiritual director.  I gained healing and clarity about the events of the last couple of years in my life.  And some really cool new ideas for my spiritual practices I’m excited to try out.  And continued clarity for whatever it is God is calling me towards in my life right now. 

God seems to be pulling me towards something that I need to be paying attention to.  Something that needs some attention.  A gap that God is concerned about and is trying to help me be concerned as well. It would be a heck of a lot easier if I could sit down and pray a centering prayer and close my eyes and be quiet for a few minutes and God would put the image in my head.  But that is not how God seems to be working right now in my life.  And I might be ok with that. As one person said, at the DCC- it’s a divine trail of breadcrumbs.  And with that comes a path of obedience and trust.  To take it one breadcrumb at a time and trust that the path is leading me somewhere relevant and important. Where God wants me to be. If practicing obedience and trust along the way is part of the journey, I’m down with that.

What did happen to me was, I was encouraged to go and sit by a statue at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson.  The statue is called Homeless Jesus.  What looks like a homeless person asleep on a park bench in front of the church is actually a statue.  It was pretty powerful sitting there with the feet of Homeless Jesus pressing against my leg.  I was looking at it wondering what lessons I am to learn.  What emotions does this evoke?  What is God trying to say to me in this moment?

It became clear to me that this gap I am to pay attention to is not missional like the outward appearance this statue evokes – a literal homeless person, a social ministry or crisis ministry of some kind.  That’s not what I am being drawn to.  But as I looked at this statue this question bubbled up as clear as a bell.  “But who is my Homeless Jesus?”  Who is that person or people for whom I am feeling compassion for?  Burdened for?  For whom God wants me to see or pay attention to?  For whom I am somehow uniquely gifted or placed in order to respond?  So that is my prayer and has been every day and will be until that question is answered. 

I trust, no, I know that the answer for me will bubble up in God’s time.  But I wonder, what would happen if you sat on that bench with the feet of Homeless Jesus pressing up against your leg?  What would come to you?  Do you need to ask, “Who is your Homeless Jesus?”  Is there someone or something that God is trying to draw your attention to right now in your life?  Is there someone or something you are neglecting or ignoring.  Someone or something who needs your attention?  Or for whom you are uniquely gifted and placed to be able to reach out to?  What would happen if you prayed that prayer for the next week?  And then really listened for the answer?  I wonder.  I wonder who is your Homeless Jesus?

Grace and Peace,

Lory Beth

3 thoughts on “Homeless Jesus

  1. LB,

    As I read your thoughts, I felt a bit of a chill —- not of fear but of anticipation. Since retiring in July, I have grown increasingly restless. I feel that I am no longer helping others by just being at home. Just as important, I am hurting myself because I have reached a stagnant point of vegetation. I just keep asking God to use me in some way so that I am a benefit to anyone who may need help. I guess what I am saying is that I, too, am looking for my homeless Jesus. I just did not realize it until I read your blog. I know that I will not have peace until I find him, her, or them. I ask for your prayers and promise you mine as we both try to see where God wants us to go. Love, prayers, and peace, my friend.

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  2. Diane, you have them! I will be lifting you up in prayer each day as I pray myself. May God reveal to you what your next chapter might be. ❤️

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