Every once in a while something happens that makes you pause and think. This morning around 5am a man by the name of Jay Corcoran died. Now that may not mean anything to many of you but to my church, that name means a lot. You see Jay was an active member of Grace for about 6…maybe 7 years. I don’t really remember when he began attending but he certainly weaseled his way into the hearts of our congregation. He started out by just attending services. Eventually he began to help out here and there around the church. Before too long he was working in the food pantry, helping out around the church, helping our home school co-op, helping in the office, helping with our clothing closet and country store and going on mission trips, being one of the wise men in one of our Christmas plays and well the list of all Jay did around the church goes on and on. He literally gave himself to our church. But that was all Jay had to give, himself. You see Jay was also homeless and about a year or so ago he began to be sick. He had lung cancer and in the early hours of this morning Jay quietly slipped away to be with his Lord and Savior.
And so I pause…I pause to wonder about the world we live in that has few resources to help our homeless populations. I pause to wonder why people become homeless. And yes I am aware it is a multi faceted problem. I pause just the same. I pause to wonder why he let the cancer go so long. I pause to wonder did he even have any medical. I pause to wonder why people don’t have access to medical care when they need it no matter their circumstances. I pause to wonder what can I do to alleviate a problem as large as homelessness in the face of even bigger problems in our world. I pause to wonder and then I remember the faith of my friend and I pause to pray for God’s wisdom and discernment to help me see clearly where I can make a difference and the courage to step out of my own comfort zones and follow through. While I know by myself I can do very little…with God and with the help of others…I can do mighty things.
One way we can all help is to find organizations that have put together resources to help those who are currently homeless find permanent housing. In Brevard County, Florida we have a wonderful resource for families who are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Please join me by making a donation in support of Family Promise of Brevard. Which, by the way, was another way Jay helped out around Grace. For more information go to their web site: http://familypromiseofbrevard.org/
For now I will say: Good-bye my friend.
One response to “A Death on Merritt Island”
I am so sorry to learn of Jay’s death. I couldn’t have described him and the impact he had on all of us who knew him any more eloquently than you nor the plight of those who live on the margins. Shadow texted me a couple days ago to tell me how sick Jay was and that it was just a matter of time. I shall always be proud of the title “PI” (Pastor Ivan) that they gave me. They also credit me with saying they weren’t homeless, just houseless. And, if home is with family, then they truly found one at Grace. I pray, too, that we all continue to be aware of the plight of the homeless and houseless through advocacy and direct support. Rest in peace, Jay our friend.