|Timothy P. Schmalz's "Homeless Jesus"; 2012|
But as the link above indicates, not every person in Davidson appreciates the invitation. Cindy Castando Swannack, a neighbor to St. Alban's Episcopal, found the statue off putting, "Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person, who needs our help."
In a way, Swannack interpretation falls in line with Christian orthodoxy. We Christians commemorate a risen Christ. John's Apocalypse guides us from a slain lamb to a victorious warrior. But even in our post-Easter reflections (and the biblical Gospels are just this) we see the image of a kingly judge who instructs:
‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Matt 25:34-36.
Finally, as Christians commemorate Good Friday, we pause to remember the forsaken Jesus. Christians throughout the ages have created sacred space and time to encounter the forsaken Jesus. This is what Swannack misses in her rush to censor Schmalz's statue and thus "clean up" the neighborhood.