Post #15.10, Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Historical setting: 6th Century C.E. Somewhere in the Pyrenees

         “Christian convicts you are? I understand.” Of course he says that. Antton is trying to sell Nic a stone statue.

         Nic explains, “Our thanksgivings are to the invisible God of all Creation.”

         “And that doesn’t seem to be working out for you very well, since you come here begging a sack of grain.”

          “We do have more use for grain than stone.”

         “But have you considered the possible powers of a sculpted stone goddess in the form of the Virgin Mother of the Christ? Just imagine it! Your mystical prayers to an invisible god could wend and weave with the fragrant smoke of sacrifice before the Christian goddess.  I can show you that sample too. Please don’t blame us for this workmanship. This one was not by the hand of our own artisan. There isn’t even any symmetry.”

         I really want to see this sculpture, though Nic is full ready to leave. The man shows us the so-called, “Christian goddess.” He points out the distinctive differences between the fertility goddess and this Christian “appeasement.”

         “In place of a cornucopia or bowl of fruits and grains she is holding a naked baby.” And, he notes, “The Christians seem to prefer their goddess leaner and from a distinctive caste of poverty. I don’t know why Christians want to turn everything upside down seeming to value the outcasts and the riff-raff the most. But no matter, I’ve got nothing against Christians if they have coin.”

         I see it. “This is beautiful! Look at her Nic! I think this draws us into a disturbing empathy with the ancient woman of Galilee. Surely this is the work of one who actually shares in the Spirit, someone who can see the holy shining through human poverty.”

         Nic adds, “I think you like it so much because she looks like you. She has your same nose and brows anyway, though a bit more gaunt with hunger, and of course, she is a woman.”

         “Yes, I suppose you would notice she is Jewish. But look at how she cherishes this baby. She shines a sense of joy, not from owning the plenty as the pagan goddess displays, but in sharing all she can give to nurture this infant.”

         “It’s a piece of carved stone, Laz.”

         “We have to ask Antton who this artist is.”

(continues tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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