11 December 2009

What to Do About Jesus?

Some years ago, my kid took a missionary trip to build housing in one of the Mexican towns on the edge of Texas. I asked her to bring me a Jesus on the Cross, similar to the ones I had seen in the tiendas on Cherokee Street in St. Louis.

These crosses are formidable. They are made from very substantial, solid wood and the J.C. figurine is detailed and also quite large. I have seen them the size of a notebook and I have seen them the size of, well, Jesus. Either way, it was no small request to ask her to haul Our Lord and Saviour across the border and back to the Gateway to the West.

But, she did it for me and arrived Stateside with the requested icon. Certainly larger than a breadbox but not so big as to scare off burglars or prompt calls to the police from concerned or frightened neighbors. I hung it on a wall in my bedroom.

His hands were the first to go. I really have no idea what happened, only that, in retrospect, I should have called in a Holy Man of some variety as soon as I noticed his mitts were disintegrating. For lack of a better idea, I "supported" the figurine to the cross using a rubber band from some broccoli. That may not have been the best course, either. The elastic snapped and sent the porcelain form skidding across the bedroom floor. Now I had a Jesus with missing hands and feet that could not be affixed to the wood. Nor did I have any religious advisor to tell me if there was a proper method or protocol for reassembling the piece. A quick glance at my watch told me that lightning was due to strike at any moment.

What does one do with a broken Jesus? Gorilla glue it together? Bury it somewhere? Donate it to St. Vincent DePaul and hope I'm not struck dead for putting it in a Hefty kitchen trash bag with pants that don't fit anymore?

Next time the kid goes to Mexico I'm just going to ask for some poor quality, bootleg DVDs.