I should say at the outset that I have no idea where I'm going with this post. It's just the result of this idea that's been going around in my head. For some reason that I don't remember, yesterday it occurred to me that Jesus slept, and that people saw Him sleeping. I thought about his apostles who were with Him night and day for three years. They must have often seen Him sleeping, and as they slowly came to the realization of who He was, it must have been overwhelming sometimes to look at Him asleep, and completely vulnerable--completely in their power, so it seems. God sleeping--a little bit scary--almost unimaginable.
Then as I was thinking about this, I remembered something that had happened on Sunday. I'm sure that most of you must have come across a picture of this statue, Homeless Jesus, by Timothy Schmalz.
Sunday when we were driving from Mass to our daughter's house, we passed a man sleeping on a bench. I immediately thought of this statue. He looked just like this. I don't know if I have actually seen this before, especially in the middle of the day. He looked completely vulnerable. He looked as if he were someone who had nothing left to lose--because he was. Less than half a mile down the road, we saw another man sleeping on another bench. That was a bit overwhelming. I don't know what to do with this experience. I don't know what the appropriate response is.
This morning when I was looking for a picture of the statue to put in this post, I found this picture of the child in North Carolina with Jesus. This is an appropriate response. I also found this story about people in Buffalo leaving gifts at the statue that is there. That's another appropriate response. But while it's easy to show this concern for a statue, it's much harder to approach the real thing. It's frightening. There's a real danger there. I don't have any answers to this dilemma, but it's very much on my mind.
Meanwhile, I see that there is now copy of the statue in Rome, and that it has been blessed by the Holy Father. He doesn't seem to have any trouble figuring out what to do in situations like this. I think it's because he sees himself as a man with nothing left to lose.