I was a kid when they opened the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. There was a lot of controversy over it at the time; it seemed a bit plain at first blush… just a wall… but a wall with names… names that haunt us. Names that you can pencil on a piece of paper if you go there.
Ever since, I note memorials seem to engrave THE NAMES. Go to the 9/11 Memorial in NYC – they got names too. The names remind us! The names haunt us. The names connect us…
It’s kinda ironic that when I go to church and meet new people (or when new people come and meet us) someone always says, “I forget names… Never forget a face, but can’t remember names…”. (Yeah, I have trouble with that too.) But when someone remembers your name, that feels special.
I have a memorial wall with a list of names. Names I pray for every day. Names of foster children (I cannot reveal) and names of beggars, bums, and prophets from the streets. Only it ain’t really a wall, it’s a prayer list. The list just keeps growing. It is difficult to pray for them all. It is difficult to remember them all. Some of them are dead now, but I have not taken their names off my memorial-wall, prayer list. They all haunt me, every night when I lay my head on my pillow; I know they are OUT THERE.
I will now share the names on this blog roll wall. I hope you will pray for them too…
Thomas* Mark** Jerry Jason
Heather Dennis Ricardo Ishmael
George*** Belinda Leo Pedro***
Sylvia*** Charles* Autum* Aaron
Aaron Dustin Justina Jeremy
Andy** Damien John Gina*** Mike
Faith Erica Rudy Daniel & Jennifer
Steve-O Patty Samuel Jenny****
James**** & May Lee Suzy Jessica*** (and her friends from Denver)
Matt Mary Tex Ryan
Kathy Roadkill Scarlett Harry
I have met each one of these people when they were homeless and living on the streets of Lubbock. Some I only met once or twice. Some have stayed in my home. Some I can hardly remember. There are a LOT more that I don’t remember and more yet that I have never met.
Do you recall that old Sally Fields movie Places In The Heart? Recall how some of the characters died as the story unfolded, but at the end, in the last scene the family goes to church. And there on the pews with the living are the dead, killers and victims side-by-side communing in worship in Spirit with the living. That is what praying is like for me. The foster kids that have left my care and the bums and beggars who are near and dear to my heart all join me in Spirit in that place of prayer.
If you are homeless, or if you know someone who is homeless, I invite you to leave the name on this post. And then I invite all my readers from all over the world to pray for these names – even if only once. Go to that garden of prayer and look around and see them all join you there. I want to introduce you to a few friends of mine. They go by another name too, one you need to know: JESUS (Matt. 25:40).
* last known status: “off the streets” (YAY!)
** last known status: in jail or prison
*** unknown status (more than 2 years)
**** confirmed status: deceased