Christ on a cracker

Poking around teh interwebs today, on the Playa del Carmen forum I sometimes visit, I found links to the image of Jesus on the inside of a Marmite jar top, as well as this article about Jesus on a pierogi.

I kind of snickered, because that’s just silly, right? and set about bringing down Ward’s old portable crib so that Rainbow could hang out on the porch while I watered plants.  I was hoping I’d find some toy of his secreted away, and checked the outer pocket of the crib.  No luck.  I sighed and pressed the padded insert into the bottom and found, tucked into the crease, a little blue plastic swordfish.

It just hit me with a thump to the chest.  Oh, yes.  You’re here, aren’t you?  You’re still here, closeby, hanging around.  So perfectly sad and sweet.  He loved little ocean animals and would thrill to one of those tubes of little plastic ocean creatures, and carry his favorites around in a plump little hand.  Lobsters, octopi, crabbies, and… fish.

I kissed the fish and squeezed it in my hand and added it to the Ward shrine in our bedroom.

When Rainbow woke up, he had a little solid food (cereal, peas, and prunes) and we set out on a stroll.  A woman on her porch exclaimed over his preciousness as we strolled by and I (not wanting to miss a chance for him to be adored) wheeled him up so she could take a closer look.  It turned out that she was the daughter of the local dumpster-diving lady who died recently; her mother’s stuff was auctioned off a few weeks ago.  She ogled little Rainbow and then ducked inside, saying she had something for him from her mother’s house.

She brought out a somewhat crusty teddy bear and a children’s paperback.  I thanked her effusively (though between you and me, that teddy bear is going in the trash) and strolled on.  The book was so stiff that when I flipped through it, it flopped to the final page, where there were images of a monarch butterfly emerging from a cocoon and flying off.

I felt that thump again (You’re here, aren’t you? You’re STILL here. You’re always with me, all the time, and you want me to know it) and wept a little bit, but they were sweet, happy tears.

And strolled on and thought about Jesus on a pierogi or the Virgin Mary in somebody’s garage door mildew, and who in the world am *I* to say they’re not real?  If I can feel a reassuring presence from a plastic fish or a butterfly picture or a clover, surely it’s fair to feel it from an image in your Marmite.

True, maybe some of these people just want their fifteen minutes of fame (look! the Pope is in my Cheeto!) but even so, maybe their bringing the images to light for their own reasons gives other people that see them real inspiration.

Maybe God is making himself known through random food products.  Maybe God is so omnipresent that his(/her/its/our) presence is everywhere we look, if we just open our eyes wide enough.  Maybe God’s image is swirling at me in my morning coffee, and chatting to me through Robin Meade on Headline News, and in the droop of the basset hound’s eyes.  Or in a butterfly that hatches in my angel son’s room, or in a picture book with a child that looks just like him and a story that makes me cry.  Or in a malformed Ritz cracker. 

Maybe we just tune into the images or sounds that make their way through to us; since we’re all built differently, God sends the messages on a million different wavelengths.  And they’re all valid.

But enough of my musings ~ let’s find out what you think!

dang!! I can’t make a poll for some reason – it won’t save.  arghhh.  I LOVE polls.  Sigh.  But! if you have an opinion, you can choose an answer below in comments OR come up with your own answer.  I’d love to hear what you think.

A.  I think it’s all a bunch of malarkey. There’s no magical, loving entity out there giving us pats on the back.

B.  I’m a spiritual/religious person, I guess, but this sort of thing (divine messages and whatnot) is too much for me to swallow.

C.  Maybe the visual holy items (like a weeping statue) are real, but God doesn’t send personalized messages.

D.  I think that the personal visitations/meaningful events are more likely to be real, but that saying Jesus is on your bagel is silly.

E.  I think it’s all possible, and that God is using whatever means he/she/it/we can to get through to us.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 15:22:47

    Those last two paragraphs of yours… yes. You are getting it! I vote for those paragraphs.
    It’s hard to hold onto some days though…We tend to forget.

  2. Cousin betsytant
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 20:01:10

    E!!! Definitely E. You and I have talked a bit about the hawks I saw after Dad died. I have no doubt that it was real. I had an experience last week that I didn’t get to share with you at the party. I was upstairs feeling sad about Dad. I was looking through the skylight at the beautiful sky. I was talking to Dad saying how much I miss him but that I knew that Heaven must be awesome. I looked back up and there was a cloud that looked exactly like Wardie. It had his beautiful curls and chubby face. It lasted a couple of minutes. It was wonderful like a big hug. So yes, E.

  3. thisbumpyjourney
    Jun 06, 2009 @ 13:21:59

    Thanks, Jane and Betsy. Yes, Jane, it’s so hard to remember the important stuff a lot of the time, isn’t it? Hard for me, anyway.

    Betsy, thank you so much for sharing that. I’m glad you saw that. I’m sure your dad was smiling at you. I’ve been feeling Ward closer lately; I’d have loved to have seen him in a cloud.

  4. Erin
    Jun 07, 2009 @ 02:40:29

    Definitely E. Not a doubt in my mind you hit it exactly in the “Maybe” paragraph. After all, we “met” under exactly those sort of different wavelengths. And in case I haven’t told you lately – you’re a wonderful writer.

  5. Kelli
    Jun 07, 2009 @ 03:24:52

    I definitely pick E., and I think the fault in choices A-D are our own for not opening our eyes or being calm and still enough to be aware of those little (big?) things. When I read about the butterfly in the book, I paused and cried, thinking of your sadness and also your willingness to open your eyes and hearts and keep going with the new life you have brought into your lives. Wishing I could see you more often (take the time? hint to self). Thinking of you fondly…

  6. Auntie Sue
    Jun 07, 2009 @ 16:39:08

    Julie, last summer I was in the back yard feeling sad about Ward, very much feeling sad and missing him, really thinking about him and the silly way he said, “Aunt Susan.” . I was walking toward the gazebo, looked down and found one of the little rubber bats we hung in trees for Ward’s second birthday party on my deck. That section of my yard is mowed regularly and I walk across it often, so finding the bat was almost overwhelming. I picked up the ragged bat and just loved on it. I still have it and keep it on the deck where we had the party. I would love for you to have it if you want it.

  7. thisbumpyjourney
    Jun 07, 2009 @ 17:58:47

    Thanks, Erin, Kelli, and Sue. And thanks so much for the writing compliment, Erin. Sometimes I feel kind of self-indulgent, but I *do* love talking about what’s going on in our lives on this blog. It’s so nice to share with people who are open to this sort of thing.

    Kelli, I’d love to see you more, too. (I actually saw you in your van yesterday on Liberty Pike, I think, and was thinking about your daughter K – I bet she is so grown-up now.)

    Sue, I know just the bat you mean, and I’m glad you have it. He was so cute in his bat costume for Halloween that year.

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