Yesterday I attended a funeral for a young man tragically dead at aged 20.
It is always interesting to see a snapshot of a person’s life at funerals. Sometimes the person themselves never get to realise half the things that come out at such times.
This young man was raised well in a Christian home, went to school, Christian youth groups and was like any other kid growing up. In his uniqueness, his creativity, his artistic search for freedom and meaning in life, he pursued a life that most would describe counter-cultural.
He live in a world of drugs, art, music parties, and homeless people where he found love, acceptance and people of like mind.
The Salvation Army bused in 150 homeless people to attend the funeral. Each one dressed according to their cultural freedoms. And yet each one clothed in grief and respect for this young man.
What he had discovered, was community.
For me, I wouldn’t be comfortable or even like to live in such a community. It’s just not me. And the same for each of them; my community is counter-cultural to them.
But I did discover that the two cultures intersected at the point of tragedy.
My immediate thought was, “What a shame.” Why does it take an event like this for me to see through the haze of prejudice and uncomfortableness, and see each person for who they are – a creature of God, loved so dearly by Him.
I was overwhelmed with the sight of so many homeless people seated in our church. And I was reminded of the following:
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Maybe, my community can find a way of blessing their community… we did for two hours yesterday. But what about tomorrow?
And then again, maybe there is more? The secret to community is love, acceptance and ‘doing’ for one another. I have realised, my community is too small… I need to expand; We need to expand. Any thoughts?