A pastor who was conducting funeral services for a deceased man was shocked to find the home in a state of disrepair (video below).
Pastor Thomas William McCracken III agreed to serve as the executor of a deceased man's estate who reportedly had no friends or family. In a video, the pastor walks through the man's home, using the state of the house as an example of the way that people like the deceased man can "slip through the cracks," according to Little Things.
McCracken, who belongs to the CommUNITY Church in Salem, Virginia, said that he was asked by the Department of Social Services to conduct the funeral services for the man. He agreed, and it was only when he arrived at the home that he realized the sad scene. The first time McCracken visited the home, he was reportedly so upset by the mess in the house that he couldn't record, but returned the next day to share the story with others.
According to the pastor, the man's home was set to be condemned because of the horrible condition that it was in.
"That is what overwhelmed me more than anything, loneliness," McCracken told The Roanoke Times. "Knowing that this man woke up in the morning alone. He went to bed alone. He struggled."
The small cabin was filled with stacks of papers and trash, and a large portion of the ceiling was missing in the bathroom.
"I don't think something like this should happen in the Roanoke Valley," said McCracken in the video. The pastor said he was struck by the fact that the home was within walking distance of the church that his congregation meets at.
"While we were singing on Sunday in the comfort of a heated sanctuary ... this man was here, within walking distance, isolated and alone," said McCracken. "We can do better than that."
He urged viewers to check on their neighbors and help each other.
"I hope this video wakes you and shakes you so that you, like me, will want to change something in our lives," he said.
After the video gained more than 274,000 views, McCracken said that the responses he has received from people touched by the clip were "totally unexpected."
"More change than any has really come into my own life from this," said the CommUNITY pastor, who seeks to form a proposal for his church to work with social services and other organizations to help people like the deceased man.
"I've taken this personally. I could have done better," he said. "I should have been engaged in this neighborhood ... A church has to get out of its four walls."