July 2017 - Toronto ON
A couple of weeks ago I posted Homeless Jesus in Kitchener. At that time I mentioned we had first seen a Homeless Jesus in Austin TX.
As I researched I discovered that the original sculpture was right here in Toronto. So we set out to find it. I've since learned that there is another one close by so expect at least one more.
From afar, it looks like a homeless person lying on a bench, covered in a blanket. Get a little closer and you'll notice the nail marks on its feet. This is not just any person. This is Jesus.
Timothy Schmalz is the sculptor of the Homeless Jesus statues. "It's hardcore and it's haunting. If we continually have our visual ambassadors, and that's what I think Christian artwork is, telling the story that everything is beautiful, we're missing a great opportunity to preach with the artwork."
There are close to forty of the statues installed around the world. The very first was placed outside Regis College, the Jesuit School of Theology at University of Toronto. It also has a place at the Vatican and has been praised by Pope Francis.
But the response to Homeless Jesus hasn't been unanimous. The sculpture has been criticized and its installation has been vetoed in the borough of Westminster, London and elsewhere.