Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Child of Prague

When Joe’s mum, Alice, moved into sheltered housing there was a lot of stuff that she couldn’t take with her. Her collection of dolls was accidentally thrown away, so when Joe started talking about a Child of Prague, I thought he was meaning some kind of doll in Czech national costume!

I think he was amazed at my ignorance. I claimed a Roman Catholic upbringing so I should have known. He seemed to think that every Catholic home had one!

While we were in Prague we visited the Church of Our Lady Victorious which is home to the original Child of Prague. It is a statue of the infant Jesus made of wax dressed in a bishop’s garb and wearing a small crown.

Joe remembers that they used to have a Child of Prague in his home when he was younger, and it had either got broken or lost, so he thought it would be an opportunity to buy one for his mum. He also bought one for his Aunty Agnes, and one for us. You slip a silver coin beneath the base. I suppose it is like wearing a St Christopher when you travel – that kind of thing. I confess to being unsure about that part of it.

Joe also bought three more smaller versions but didn’t tell me. I think he knew that I didn’t really know what they were about. Being a charismatic, Pentecostal type of Christian who had forgotten her Catholic roots, he thought I might have objections!

He took them into work yesterday and gave two of them away! For the girls that work in his department, he had bought other souvenirs – little wooden Prague houses that fitted nicely on top of their computers. The Child souvenirs were for people he knew to be Roman Catholics.

He was amazed at the effect the gifts had. He expected wreathes of smiles and thanks for being remembered, but when he gave one Child to a lady in another part of the building she burst into tears. She thinks Joe is wonderful anyway, but the gift of a “Child of Prague” was beyond wonderful.

Another Child was given to a pub manager. The man has been very kind to our church providing us with a venue for our meetings, and Joe knowing that he was a Roman Catholic gave him a Child. Like the lady in Joe’s office, he was very touched by the gift, and taken aback by Joe thinking about him. He also thinks Joe is wonderful, and treated him to free pint of beer!

I love my husband! I love him because he is kind to people! It is not in the big grand gestures that he demonstrates his kindness, but in small things. Isn’t that just like Jesus?

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