Someone in Bay Village called the cops on a homeless person sleeping on a park bench only to realise it was a statue of Jesus.
A statue of Jesus in Ohio was mistaken for a homeless man sleeping on a bench by a passerby who called the cops to report them. Ironically, the statue was installed to raise awareness for the billions who experience poverty around the world.
Alex Martin, the pastor at St. Barnabas, hopes the caller did so to ensure the homeless person was provided with resources to help their situation, mirroring the statue’s values of compassion and standing in solidarity with the marginalised.
The statue, which stands outside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village, Ohio, was created by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schalmz and depicts a homeless Jesus lying on a bench wrapped in a blanket. It was there for less than 20 minutes before the police were called.
According to the church’s website, Bay Village has a very low rate of poverty, and as such, this art installation is intended to serve as a reminder that other parts of America and the world at large are unfortunately not as lucky. In fact, homelessness is an issue which affects not only millions but 1.6 billion people worldwide.
The instalment is only temporary and will stay in place until December 1st of this year.
Art has a purpose, esp to make us think beyond ourselves. While there are few visible cases of homelessness in Bay Village it does hopefully serve as a reminder to those that we should care as Jesus cares for all downtrodden, regardless of economic/racial status. This art is good
— Shino Switch Apoc & Mouse (@ShinoJin86) October 14, 2020
The Bay Village Police Department released a statement regarding the incident, describing:
“The Bay Village Police Department received a call regarding a possible homeless person, laying under a tarp, on a bench by St. Barnabas church. The residents of Bay Village are encouraged to contact the Police Department if they see or hear anything unusual.
“Had there been a person laying on a bench, our officers are trained first responders and would be able to assess the situation and take the appropriate action,” they continued.
“We are pleased with the positive interaction our responding officer had with Fr. Alex Martin, the pastor at St. Barnabas. The City of Bay Village hopes that this will bring attention to homelessness and encourage our community members to help those in need.”