“Bless the homeless, this day and everyday,
keep them from physical and emotional harm,
fill their hearts with hope for the future and for today,
comfort the homeless as they walk their difficult paths.
May I know that anyone, even me,can be homeless.”
Ronald Victor Barton
William “Ken” Brockman
Joseph “JoJack” Jackson Cheatham
Larry Richard Deboer
William C. Kimble
William C. Kite
James “Conrad” Payne
Edsel R. Stricklin
Robert Woodrow Williams
These are the people who died homeless in 2015 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
An annual memorial service to remember the individuals known by name as well as those nameless was held at St. John’s Lutheran Church last Thursday evening.
You might think if you are homeless you have no friends, but that isn’t so. Many of those without homes help each other out on the street. They also become involved with social workers and church goers, getting to know them one-on-one.
This service is always moving, mostly because of the people who speak. They may be involved with ministries to help the homeless or previously homeless themselves.
Darrell Murrell’s message of hope was meaningful and poignant. He stressed that he was saved from a life on the streets because people in this church “kept loving” on him until he felt God working through them.
Poet John Cantrell read a poem again this year:
Remembering Our Friends
You have to us a host of things
From a life of sorrows and woes There were times when you smiled
From knowing you were not alone
In the beauty of the spring
In the cold chilli nights of old man winter
Of a harsh life of homelessness
You endured the stings of alcoholism
Drug addiction mental illness physical abuse
Your world was tainted by experiences
Of that nasty world
Lack of basic needs healthcare
Shelter and last God called you home
To restful nights
And Peaceful Days
“May hope touch each homeless heart, spirit and life,
let the kindness of others bring lasting benefits, bring freedom from addiction, illness and misery, open their humanity to include & embrace themselves.”
The entire Blessing for the Homeless can be found by Goggling Interfaith Prayers & Blessings by Abby Willowroot