The South China Morning Post (October 5, 2015) reported the story of a homeless woman who died in a McDonalds and went unnoticed for an entire day.
In one of Hong Kong’s busiest districts, an unidentified middle-aged woman sat slumped over at a table in the 24-hour restaurant through three shifts of workers, while hundreds of customers ate their meals around her. CCTV cameras revealed that she entered the restaurant about 8:39 AM on October 4. At 1:20 PM she suddenly slumped over and, presumably, died. She remained in that position for the rest of the day, all night long, and through the next morning. Finally, by 11:30 AM the next day, someone finally called police who removed the woman’s body. By 1:00 PM business was back to normal.1
This disturbing story cuts right to the heart. Perhaps it’s so disquieting because all of us hope that – when we are hurting, suffering, or close to dying – someone will be there for us. No one wants to be abandoned in their greatest crisis.
If you’re hurting and you feel all alone in your suffering, please remember that there is someone in heaven who knows perfectly how you feel
But Jesus told us that our heavenly Father is with us in our pain. “In all their affliction, He was afflicted,” (Isaiah 63:9, King James Version). Jesus explained that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without it somehow distressing our Father in heaven (Matthew 10:29-31) and we – Christ tells us – are worth more to God than many, many sparrows.
Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. The rich man lived sumptuously, but at his gate was a starving, seriously ill, beggar named Lazarus. It’s interesting to note that in this gospel account, it is the rich man who is “unidentified” – unknown to God. Jesus doesn’t even mention his name.
But Jesus does mention the poor beggar’s name. And, though abandoned by the man who had power to help him, Lazarus was not abandoned by God when he died. The God who knew Lazarus on a first name basis, sent His angels to carry him into paradise.
If you’re hurting and you feel all alone in your suffering, please remember that there is someone in heaven who knows perfectly how you feel. The Scripture says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15, New American Standard Bible).
Jesus knows by personal experience how lonely, rejected, and heart-broken you feel. Take His hand. Fall into His loving arms. He will love you and heal you.
Dear Father in heaven, when I feel alone and abandoned, please surround me with Your love and help me to sense Your nearness. Heal me with Your comfort and breathe life into my soul. Amen.
1. Information from http://www.inquisitr.com/2473105/hong-kong-homeless-woman-dies-inside-mcdonalds-restaurant-no-one-notices-her-for-24-hours/