Police called on sleeping Jesus statue
A Cleveland church in the United States sought to raise awareness of homelessness by temporarily placing a statue of Jesus sleeping on a park bench. Within twenty minutes, a local resident called police.
The St Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village installed the statue on church grounds. Created by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, it depicts Jesus lying on a bench covered in a blanket.
The church’s priest, Fr. Alex Martin, said that the incident served as a reminder of the conditions faced by people experiencing homelessness.
“Perhaps the statue will inspire those who see it to take action and help,” he wrote.
“Seeing Jesus depicted in this way reminds us that Jesus identified with the outcast and marginalised in his own day. He spent much of his time with tax collectors and prostitutes, largely to the chagrin of polite society.”
The statue will be in place until early December. The church are using it as part of a fundraiser for their ministry to help people experiencing homelessness.
In a statement, Bay Village police said that police officers would have used the call as an opportunity to check on the person and to direct them to medical help, if needed.
The itinerant nature of Jesus’ ministry has previously led to depictions of him as homeless.