There is an interesting statue at my school of a homeless person lying on a bench. It is called Homeless Jesus.
I think we can all just look at this for a moment and learn something important. That is after all what art is for. This statue is on a bench in the middle of campus. It is always there as a constant reminder that poverty exists. Just because students have the luxury of being able to afford school and a lifestyle that allows them to stay there does not mean that poverty is not a concern. Its presence is a little uncomfortable and always there, just like the presence of poverty.
The statue itself looks very convincing as a person. When I first saw it I thought there was a real human on the bench sleeping under a garbage bag. When I first saw the statue it was pouring rain. I felt so bad that this person didn’t have a place they could take shelter, that they had to just deal with the elements. The reality is that the homeless do often deal with the elements. If the weather is freezing outside, where do you think they sleep? When you walk by this statue in the winter it is covered in snow. This statue is outside on this bench no matter what the weather, just as homeless people are outside dealing with it at all times.
The most interesting part of the statue is its feet. You only see it if you look closely, but there are holes in the statue’s feet. This is how you can tell the statue is the figure of Jesus since the holes are from the nails used to attach Jesus to the Cross. The Homeless are often marginalized. They are ignored. But, at least from a Christian standpoint, Christ can be found within every single person. To say it in a secular way, every person, even the marginalized, has dignity and goodness in their hearts. But you are only going to see that if you look at them closely. Not if you turn your head away and keep walking by.