The Least Of Them

Mike over at Detached Retina pointed out this bit of a Sun-Times column. I was pretty much divorced from the whole saga of the underpass stain that looked like the Virgin Mary to some, and thank God, because that stuff was old when she showed up on the grilled cheese, for heaven’s sake. Roeper puts the point on this I think we all need to consider, especially those leaving flowers and candles at the “shrine” and those pointing TV cameras at it:

I stop taking digital photos and observing the crowd for a few moments, and I focus on the image itself. Sure, it sorta-kinda looks like the Virgin Mary. At any given moment, there are about 100 million stains forming on walls and on shower floors and in refrigerators. Occasionally you’ll get one that looks like Jesus or the Virgin Mary; just as often, you’ll get one that looks like Cedric the Entertainer or Kelly Clarkson.

Just a few steps west of the holy image, leaning against a streetlight pole on Fullerton, there is a homeless man, holding up a small cardboard sign that says:

HELP

I’M HUNGRY

You’d chastise a screenwriter for such easy symbolism, but there the man sits, squinting against the sun and holding up his sign.

In clusters of two and three and four, the faithful who are flocking to and from the image of the Virgin Mary — they walk right past the homeless man. They walk right past him, as if he’s not even there.

A.