Memorial Housing Saves Lives 2017

Homeless and Shivering God

The following is the benediction written by Lindsey Krinks that was given at the 2017 Annual Homeless Memorial in downtown Nashville at Riverfront Park on December 16, 2017, where we remembered 118 homeless and formerly homeless lives lost during this calendar year.

Homeless and shivering God,
God who weeps with us,
God whose spirit stirs the deep,
God by all the names we know you,

Stir our spirits now. Give us strength, comfort, and courage as we face a new day, a new year, without these friends and loved ones by our side. May the spirits of our friends rest in peace in their new home where suffering is no more. And be with us as we go forward. 

CLERGY: With the names of the dead on our lips and the memories of our friends in our hearts,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With lives forever changed by those who have gone before us, 

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With deep gratitude for friendship, community, and all those gathered around us today,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With hearts broken for those who don’t survive the living hell of the streets,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the secret sorrows we carry in our bones; with all the losses and grief,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the terrible knowledge of what happens to bodies that are denied health care and housing,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the mysterious hope that death does not have the final say,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the great cloud of witnesses hovering over us,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the commitment to more daringly and lovingly embrace our neighbors, 

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the commitment to more compassionately tend the wounded in our midst, 

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the commitment to more courageously transform the broken systems in our city and world, 

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the commitment to use our voices, our time, our energy, our networks, our resources, and whatever political capital we have to create a Nashville that is more equitable and just,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: With the vision of world where everyone has housing, healthcare, and hope, 

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: And with the dangerous belief that creating that world is possible,

PEOPLE: We will go.

CLERGY: Go now to be the hands and feet of change, the blooming of a new and better world.

Go now to embody the Beloved Community—the kin-dom of God—in there here and now.

Go now to re-member all who have been dis-membered in our society.

Go now in gentleness and fierceness to comfort all who are afflicted and to afflict all who are too comfortable.

Go now in disruptive love that brings down the powerful from their thrones and lifts up the lowly.

Go now, with the hot flames of hope in your hearts, letting your light shine into every crevice of darkness and injustice in this world.

Alone our lights flicker. Together we blaze.

Amen.