“Kamikaze, my death is gain
I’ve been marked by my maker
A peculiar display
The high and lofty, they see me as weak
‘Cause I won’t live and die for the power they seek”
The lyrics of DC Talk’s brilliant classic Jesus Freak, which include the above words, were read at the funeral of a homeless man I attended this morning.
Ben was a beautiful man, who spent much of his time and effort the last few years begging and using substances. He also exuded such warm, genuine, gentle love for the people around him, and love for Jesus, his saviour. He always greeted me with affection, called me “brother”, and had time for me.
One time, a few years ago, when I visited him in the B&B accommodation he’d been provided for a short time by Social Services, Ben recited to me the entire lyrics of Jesus Freak. The song meant a lot to him. Apparently he’d found Jesus in prison some years earlier.
When the words were spoken at his funeral, they took on a whole new significance, new poignancy.
Not that I had any doubt before, but now I felt fresh faith, new assurance, that I would see Ben again in the afterlife, and I was touched by the usual mix of sadness, joy and affection that tend to accompany these occasions.
Ben, you’ll always hold a special place in my heart. See you again one day.
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I also have a book! Coming Home for Good is autobiographical, with themes of homelessness, spirituality and identity, and is available on Amazon. Find out more here.