I was waiting for a friend on the grounds of a local Catholic school and convent. I discovered a walkway with statues along one side. The statues were of Jesus carrying the cross, on his way to be crucified, probably a depiction of the Stations of the Cross. Jesus meets various people as he struggles along the path. The statues were all painted with some sort of sticky, glaringly white sturdy outdoor paint. I could see paint dripping down the concrete pedestals, as if the statues were bleeding white blood.
I walked along the path, following the statues. Though I know the story, it was interesting to see it from this wordless perspective. Further down the path, I saw them nailing Jesus to the cross. The cruelty of the crucifixion was only partially masked by the whiteness of the statues and the calm setting on the wooded path.
I looked for the last statue – the resurrected Jesus. You know the pose: Jesus in a toga with his hands outstretched so that we can see the holes, with a huge halo of light behind his head. I walked to the end of the path, but there was no statue of the Risen Jesus.
I have thought for a number of days about whether there is any lesson to be drawn from this. Why was there no Risen Jesus there? Scripture says, “He is not here; he has risen.” Jesus is in our hearts. Why do you look for the living among the (dead) statues?
Perhaps the message is that Jesus isn’t finished yet. He isn’t ready to be confined to a statuary. Keep looking for him. Out there in the real world.