Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Than Just Art

"Pull over!" I holler to my friend Louie, who, along with is wife, Carolyn, is giving us a tour of Sleepy Eye, MN, a town they lived in more than 40 years ago and a town many know from the "Little House on the Prairie" series of books and TV shows.

Louie pulls to the curb (he's good like that) and I leap out to immerse myself in the most mesmerizing statue I've ever seen of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Mesmerizing, but sad.

The sleekness, the thinness, the willowy nature of this work casts sorrow all about, as if to forewarn a mother and father that their child, this baby, dies a terrible death. Yes, we Christians know Christ died a horrible death here on Earth, but he lives on in Heaven and Earth. And we, too, will live after death.

But the ones left behind after we die mourn. Some mourn terribly.

This statue exudes that mourning for me. Look at the picture. See how the baby Jesus is gently touching his mother's face? He's consoling her. Now look at Joseph. I see such stoic anguish in his face. My heart tightens.

Just a block earlier, I saw a statue of a waif-like Mary, obviously created by the same hand. So we turn back to visit her. I walk all around her, noting that she, too, mourns. She carries a lily and casts her eyes downward. She slumps, slightly, as if life's a burden. Which it can be. Without Jesus.

I've written to both the town newspaper and visitor's bureau to find out who the artist is. I want to thank her, or him, for giving me such a powerful reminder of my faith.


No comments: