Rest In Peace My Friends.

22!
That's right!
22!

I think I'm way too young to personally know 22 people to pass away in one year (2012). Actually this number only includes people who have experienced homelessness in their lives. 22 is the number of people I have met while living my life at CCO as an outreach worker and case-manager. I knew some of these men and women deeply, while others were just fleeting memories.

I write this as a brief memorial, because I want these men and women to be remembered and I would hate for them to be forgotten! Even though they were harshly ignored, and continually neglected and rejected throughout their lives, we can never forget that each and everyone of them is precious in the sight of our Lord.

Late last year, all their names were read at Chicago's annual "homeless memorial" at Old St Pats Church, always held on the shortest day of the year. We remembered these men and women; we held candles, sung hymns, read scripture and prayed. These 22 invisible people (mentioned among many others) were briefly made visible in that crowded Church.

Even though these 22 men and women were all united in homelessness, their stories were all very different, they came from all over the globe, were from a variety of races and were all different ages. We can never forget the huge diversity of this small group, as they were a bunch of individuals, struggling with all their depressing tales of woe and triumphant success stories. They were men and women searching for their purpose, love, acceptance and happiness! Just like me and you!

These 22 men and women were not just united in homelessness, but in the Merciful Love of their Crucified Saviour, the One who boldly proclaimed "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven". Hope rises in this loving reality; the death and resurrection of Jesus conquered and overcame the inequality and injustice of this very unequal and unjust world.

Thank you Jesus; for you did not ignore or forget our homeless friends, but you love them with your all-consuming, all powerful, Kingdom Love; a Love that rights all wrongs!
 
Rest in Peace My Friends....
Rest in Peace! 

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