Friday, August 29, 2014

81 Years Old

He was asked, "How you doing?"

"I'm 81 years old.  I'm barely above ground."

"You're gonna get a ticket if you don't put your seatbelt on."
-Sideways glance.
What you gonna do if they take you to jail?
-Throws arm up to heart and says, "Oh, I'm having a heart attack."

"Did I tell you about that time they had that road block and those guys told me I needed to wear my seat belt?
I told them I was 70 years old, had lived through World War 2 and the Korean Conflict to keep this country free and nobody was gonna tell me I had to take a rope and strap my ass into my car. 
They told me to get out of there because they had work to do."

The Shrine of Christ's Passion

 Recently I found myself visiting friends in the Indiana area just outside of Chicago.  During the visit, I was told of a place nearby that has a life size version of the 12 Stations of the Cross.  An adorable young lady told me that "You can take a selfie with Jesus - ascending, not crucified, because that would be creepy."

I imagined a sort of life size version of the plaques you see on the wall of the church, and I could run to the very end of the row and take my selfie with Jesus - ascending, not crucified, because that would be creepy.

So, after entering the outdoor garden area through the Kirkland/Thomas Kinkade-esque gift shop, one first sees a full size Jesus sitting at a table with open seats.  It appears he is waiting for (you) someone to join him for dinner (the Last Supper.)  Since he is life size and it's a table with seats, I was strongly considering sitting down next to Jesus for my selfie. But then a group of very somber looking people began their walk, and it didn't quite seem appropriate.

So my friends and I continued around the garden to what I thought would be 12 statues in a row somewhere in Indiana.  I was wrong. And I wasn't prepared emotionally for what was about to impress me.  So, I admit it, I shut it down so it couldn't reach into me.

This is a purposely overgrown garden of a couple of acres with a life size temple, a path, large boulders, and over 40 bronze statues of Jesus, his disciples, Mary Magdalene, crosses and judges - all on a path that places you in footsteps designed to remind you of the walks of Jesus.  It was impressive, and if approached with the right frame of mind, a powerful experience.

It was also hot.  Really, really sun shiney hot that day. 

By the time I made it to Ascending Jesus, sweating profusely but impressed by someone's dream turned reality for this walk of that last day of that life, I had lost my desire to take a selfie.  I seemed slightly in appropriate.  Though the ascending version of Jesus with six pack abs and hair blowing in the wind did lend a bit of brevity to the moment.

I might do two things if I ever go back.
- I would go on a day I could take a slower pace and allow myself to be touched by the dream of some artist who that created this tribute.
- I would definitely take a selfie.  Because, you know, in the Christian belief, he did ascend. And there's nothing more cool than that.