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.