Timothy Schmatz' sculpture of Jesus the Homeless has evoked some controversy. The statue depicts Jesus asleep on a bench; his face covered; nail wounds visible in his bare feet.
Offered to the Roman Catholic cathedrals first in New York (St. Patrick's) and then in Toronto, each cathedral's leadership expressed initial acceptance but declined the gift of the statue after consulting with higher ecclesiastical authority.
I find the statue profoundly spiritual and ethical. Jesus' cloak obscures his face; he could be anyone. He instructed his followers to care for the hungry, the lonely, the sick, and those in prison. Surely, today he would direct his disciples to care for the homeless, reminding us that what we do for the least of those we meet we do for him.
As debates about tax policies, immigration, healthcare, and social security rage, Jesus the Homeless may be the most appropriate icon that those of us who would walk the Jesus path can find.