As we scramble in and out of stores for holiday shopping, Salvation Army volunteers stand beside their red donation kettles, patiently ringing their bells. They invite us to remember those who shiver outside the circle of sharing. Many pastors answer that invitation by partnering with the Salvation Army, conducting funerals for homeless men and women without church or family.
During my last pastorate, I conducted one such funeral for a man named Scottie. With his drinking buddies scattered throughout the sanctuary, I eulogized Scottie’s life as of infinite value to God and to us all—no matter what his struggles and setbacks. Suddenly like a shout from hell, drunken hollering interrupted my tribute.
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