I remember this baby Jesus from my childhood. The rest of the Nativity scene is long gone, but I still have this baby Jesus. (This could be a post all on its own. But I digress...) As a child, I remember asking my mother, "What happened to Jesus' face?"
Growing up in a non-Christian home, my inquiry was met with a vague,"I don't know.", "Don't bother me now.", or the old standby, silence.
Christmas was something we "did", not something we celebrated. We had to buy presents, because it was expected, even though we lived in terrible debt all year. We had to send cards, especially to those who sent us one--(we had a little book to keep track of such things). We had so many have to's, that I have a difficult time remembering happy times as a child.
But just over 26 years ago, I met Jesus.
My son is a first generation growing up in a Christian home. And he, like any small child, asked, "What happened to Jesus' face?"
As an artist, I can appreciate the skill that went into creating this piece. The carving of the basket of Jesus' bed, the hay under Him; the finer details are lost but the art piece must have been fine in its day. It dates back before the 1940's. It's not plastic, or resin. It's made of a plaster-like product, but not as heavy. It's chipped, and a little dirty, for it's been handled over and over.
"What happened to Jesus' face?" my son had asked again.
I told him, "I believe it's been kissed off."