|Passersby help pick up a “Jesus the Homeless” statue outside of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada after a junk-removal truck crashed into it on May 28, 2018. (PHOTO: TWITTER/STPATSHAMILTON)
A homeless Jesus statue came to the rescue on Monday by stopping a barreling truck from plowing into other cars and pedestrians as the driver was unable to bring the vehicle to a stop at a red light.
Police in Hamilton, Ontario, are crediting the statue of a Homeless Jesus sleeping on a bench with a blanket wrapped around him for preventing what looked to be a tragedy waiting to happen.
According to Hamilton Police Service, the driver of a junk-removal truck was approaching a red light at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and South King Street when he realized that his truck was not stopping.
To avoid barging into oncoming traffic or striking pedestrians, the driver frantically steered the truck east and then mounted a curb in front of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church.
Officials say that the truck finally came to a halt when it slammed into a bench that featured the sleeping Jesus statue.
“If the truck continued in its path it would have headed into oncoming westbound vehicular traffic and pedestrians on King Street,” a press release posted by media relations officer Jerome Stewart explains.
But because of the bench and Jesus statue, the out-of-control truck was stopped from inflicting any further damage and injuries.
“Hey #HamOnt this afternoon a statue of sleeping Jesus at St. Patrick’s Church stopped a truck from hitting other vehicles and pedestrians in the area,” a tweet from the police department reads.
St. Patrick’s shared a photo of the aftermath, showing the Jesus statue and bench knocked over on the ground.
“Thank you to the kind folks who helped us move our poor #HomelessJesus after the crash,” the church’s tweet reads. “We’ll get him back up shortly!”
|Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz sitting next to his sculpture “Jesus the Homeless.” He hopes the sculpture will be featured in cities throughout the world, cast in bronze to last for eternity as a reminder to Christians of Jesus’ message in Matthew 25. (PHOTO: COURTESY OF TIMOTHY P. SCHMALZ INC.)
As previously reported, the “Jesus the Homeless” statue was created by Ontario artist Timothy Schmalz, who has also designed other homeless Jesus statues for several other cities across the globe.
Although Schmalz has good intentions, not everyone has been pleased with the homeless Jesus statues. Davidson, North Carolina, resident Cindy Castano Swannack told NBC Charlotte in 2014 that she finds the statue somewhat offensive.
“Jesus is not a vagrant; Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help. We need someone who is capable of meeting our needs, not someone who is also needy,” Swannack said at the time.
As previously reported, Schmalz created the “Jesus the Homeless” sculptures after witnessing the presence of homeless communities in some of the world’s wealthiest cities.
“When some people look at it — and I’ve heard comments — they’ve expressed that it creeps them out. And they ask, ‘How can you represent Jesus like this?'” Schmalz told The Christian Post at the time.
“The criticism is that Jesus wasn’t a bum. And it makes me realize, after half a year of having the piece out there, how much the piece is needed. This representation should be out there to confront people and their hatred toward humanity, in a sense.”