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Sacred - Auntie's Lord Jesus

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Sacred - Auntie's Lord Jesus
A plaster figurine of Our Lord Jesus stood on my auntie’s bedside table for as far back as I can remember. As a child, he fascinated me. I could look, but not touch. He was very special. He was a sacred gift to my aunt and uncle on their wedding day in 1946 from the Catholic priest who married them, I was told.
When she passed away, widowed and childless, my sister and I were next of kin and I became the keeper of her treasured possessions, including her religious bits and pieces. Our family was an equal mix of Protestant and Catholic. I still hang on to the Christian faith of all camps I grew up with, but Auntie’s artefacts were not for display. I can’t remember what happened, but I know I was very upset and distressed when ‘Jesus’ became damaged and decapitated. The least I could do for my late aunt was to care for the things that were special to her and I failed. This was as bad as my failing to appreciate that she needed help and care herself and wasn’t just a selfish, cantankerous woman. Life’s hard bits really hurt.
The Jesus figurine ended up at the top of my wardrobe for twenty years until I brought it out today. I wanted a photograph for this blog and I intended to mend it, or rather ask my husband, who has some proper glue for such a job, to mend it. I would then put it with the other items I have of Auntie’s. I feel reluctant to part with these things yet feel burdened with by keeping them.
‘Jesus’ was there where I put him, at the back of the top shelf of my fitted wardrobe, wrapped in a towel and a piece of my aunt’s unfinished knitting before being zipped up safely in a holdall. I lifted him out of the bag, unwrapped the coverings and was surprised to find him intact. I have no recollection of any of us repairing the figurine. And no, there’s absolutely no chance of spiritual intervention, if such a thing exists to mend broken ornaments. There is a faint line of shiny adhesive visible and because it is made of plaster, the break crumbled and left chipped edges. To be fair, it looks alright. It’s just me feeling I’ve let my aunt down by spoiling something that was sacred to her. In her rightful mind, I know she would forgive me.
If anything is sacred to me at the moment, it’s my lovely geum plant in the garden, called Totally Tangerine and doing very well. It must be an omen. The colour of the flowers are more orangey than the photo.         Sacred - Auntie's Lord Jesus    
My choice of poem doesn’t match the theme of ‘Sacred’ but I’d like to share a favorite of mine from Maya Angelou,    
 Still I Rise
 You may write me down in history
 With your bitter, twisted lies,
 You may trod me in the very dirt
 But still, like dust, I'll rise.
 Does my sassiness upset you?
 Why are you beset with gloom?
 ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
 Pumping in my living room.
 Just like moons and like suns,
 With the certainty of tides,
 Just like hopes springing high,
 Still I'll rise.
 Did you want to see me broken?
 Bowed head and lowered eyes?
 Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
 Weakened by my soulful cries?
 Does my haughtiness offend you?
 Don't you take it awful hard
 ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
 Diggin’ in my own backyard.
 You may shoot me with your words,
 You may cut me with your eyes,
 You may kill me with your hatefulness,
 But still, like air, I’ll rise.
 Does my sexiness upset you?
 Does it come as a surprise
 That I dance like I've got diamonds
 At the meeting of my thighs?
 Out of the huts of history’s shame
 I rise
 Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
 I rise
 I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
 Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
 Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
 I rise
 Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
 I rise
 Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
 I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
 I rise
 I rise
 I rise.
 
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
  Thanks for reading, Pam x
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