Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why I Collect Pictures of Jesus

As I mentioned in a previous post, I collect old pictures of Jesus. As of today, I own 16. They range from the Last Supper carved in marble (from Forest Lawn Memorial Park) to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (in a lovely green antique frame).
I also collect madonnas (the Virgin Mary, not to be confused with the other, not-so-virginal Madonna). But I will blog about this collection another time. Today I will focus on Jesus.
I'm not sure why I started collecting pictures of Him. I think the first time I saw an old painting of Jesus, propped up against a tree at a yard sale, with a $5 price tag covering up the face of the little lamb He was carrying, I felt strangely disturbed. Here was a beautiful print of the Good Shepherd, tenderly caring for His sheep, crudely displayed along with a yard full of unwanted stuff. Although I only had $4 in my pocket, I nabbed the picture and found the cashier.
"Will you take four dollars for the picture of Jesus?" I asked.
The guy smirked at me and answered, "Don't you think He's worth $5?"
Ouch, that hurt!
But he took my four dollars and I took the picture home and hung it up in my hallway. To me, it is priceless.
Since then, I find old pictures of Jesus popping up everywhere. At garage sales and thrift stores, barn sales and antique shops. These portraits of the Son of God are always a bargain--there's evidently not much of a market for religious antiques. And I certainly don't NEED another picture to hang on my walls, but it hurts my heart to see Jesus gathering dust, with yellowing price tags putting a paltry sum on the One who reflects the very image of God!
I am now the proud owner of several renditions of the Lord's supper (one on Egyptian papyrus), pictures of Jesus walking on the water, blessing the children, knocking on the door of our hearts, tending to the lost sheep, and praying. My favorite is Jesus pulling Peter out of the stormy sea, because it reminds me of how He rescued me from my fears.
There's not a room in my house that isn't graced with the face of Jesus shining from one of the walls. I love that everywhere I look, there are reminders of my Best Friend, reflecting the various aspects of His life here on earth. I don't need His picture on my wall to assure His Presence in my home. He's already here, of course.
When will I stop collecting these portraits? When will I have enough?(My family asks me this every now and again).

I suppose when my heart no longer leaps when I see His likeness.
And when I don't feel as if I've discovered yet another hidden treasure in a frame.

And finally, when the day comes when I see Him face to face!


danielle said...

his face is everywhere, man. if it was anybody else, mom, it would be kind of weird. but because it's you, it's precious.

Joel said...

This message was soooo beautiful! I love your heart, but Jesus loves it more, and He knows you! :)

I agree with Danielle, very precious.

To God be the Glory ~

theresa said...

I found and old picture of Jesus in the old house my boyfriend grew up in as a child, the home now has recently been condemned. I was looking on line to see if it was worth anything and came across you site, I love your story and now I have changed my mind on selling it and I am thankful I rescued it as it was the only thing left in the house, still hanging on the wall. Theresa

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