“…The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  Luke 9:58

$350,000 represents the matching grant, suggesting that another $350,000 is available – for a total of $700,000. That’s to build a decent home for decoys. According to the article in the Burlington Free Press (“Decoys Get Their Due“) most of the 1,400 ducks, swans, loons, snipes, willets, “and even a few fish” are in need of a permanent home that honors their status as works of folk art. While some are currently on display at the Shelburne Museum, most are in storage.

The article caught my attention as I spend some time with people who are homeless in our community. $700,000 could go quite a way toward providing shelter for these folks, many of whom live perpetually “in storage” in outdoor camps hidden from public view. But then, I read about Miley Cyrus…She managed to steal the show at the MTV awards – again – Sunday evening. It wasn’t how she dressed, or the nature of any performance she did. It was who she was with. Her date was Jesse, a homeless man. Folks don’t quite know what to make of it – a publicity stunt? An authentic concern for something besides her own career? As Jesse went on stage to accept the award on behalf of Cyrus (she won for her music video “Wrecking Ball“), the audience was stunned.

Jesse read from a prepared text – “I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving and lost and scared for their lives. I know, because I am one of those people.” Miley made sure Jesse was well rested, cleaned up and dressed for the part. She put him up for the weekend at a hotel and spa in Studio City. She bought him a black suit and white dress shirt for the event. And  Jesse arrived at the MTV Awards riding with Ms. Cyrus in her black S.U.V. As he came to the conclusion of his “acceptance speech”, he invited people to go to Cyrus’ Facebook Page and make a donation.

“The music industry will make over $7 billion this year, and outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home.”

$7 billion?

No need to begrudge the decoys – and other works of art – a good home. We all benefit.

No need to make people feel guilty about their music and their videos.

But maybe we can look at our personal and our collective priorities. Between $700,000 for decoys and $7 billion for videos and tunes, we should be able to find a way to insure that everyone has a place to lay their head.

A blessed Tuesday …


Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.