On a cool December, 2005 day in Los Angeles, California, a minister stood before an open grave and intoned Psalm 23. But not over a person who died, with loved ones at hand to notice and mourn.
Repeating what has been customary for 80 years previously, and periodically since, the grave held the comingled ashes of 1619 people who died unknown and unclaimed…or more commonly known but unclaimed … people who lived on the periphery of society, and died penniless and friendless.
Being buried as a nobody is the ultimate insult to personhood in this world. One greater insult remains in the next: to be known by God, as everyone is, and be judged unworthy of entering his presence, as everyone is without Christ’s saving blood.
Let us live here with anonymity if necessary But, please, God Almighty, let us be a named someone in particular when we stand before you to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”