Sunday, February 26, 2017

The "Jesus @ The UN" Picture

Before I get into this post let me assure that this it is not making light of anyone's beliefs or faith. It is a humorous look at something I always thought was a bit unusual.  

In a previous post I mentioned how hearing a song on the radio that brought back a memory of an amusement park ride. 

For this post I'm going to tell you how assembling a Lego model and a trip to a Dollar Tree store brought back to memory a piece of art I remember from my childhood.  

This is a painting known as "Prince Of Peace." It is the creation of artist James Harry Anderson. He was a member of the 7th Day Adventist church. It is just one of many religious themed paintings he made between 1945 and 1970. They were mostly of Jesus or angels in hypothetical situations set in either modern or biblical times. 

I remember seeing this picture hanging on a wall somewhere when I was growing up. The memory of just where I was is not exact. The best guess I can make is that I saw it hanging on the wall in the home of Joyce Able. She was a good friend of my mom's so growing up we called her "Aunt". 

Aunt Joyce had all kinds of strange and unusual religious items in her house. I could write an entire post about my memories of her. For the purposes of this one let me just say that it was very possible that I saw the "Prince of Peace" picture at one time or another in her house. 

Now let's get to my whimsical (yes, its become my favorite word) tribute to this painting.

Last week I put together a Lego kit that was given to me by my sister-in-law for Christmas in 2014. It is from the Lego Architecture series. It's a miniature replica of the United Nations Headquarters building in New York City. 

It was fun to build and fits right in with the other 8 landmark models I have built over the last few years. 

When I set the finished model up on my shelf for display it sparked something in the deep recesses of my memory. The picture of Jesus standing outside the main UN building looking in through the windows. 

Even though I understood what the message of the picture was it always seemed a bit strange to me. Perhaps because I grew up watching reruns of a certain genre of movies on. Monster movies where Godzilla or some other mutant creature stomped their way through some large city destroying all in their path.  

As a kid who grew up in Sunday School, my teachers, all sweet gentle older ladies, had instilled in me the belief through songs and lessons that Jesus loved the little children; all the little children of the world. 

The pictures of him I found most comforting were those in my Children's Bible of him by the bedside of a dying girl or holding little guys like me on his lap and smiling at them. 

The image of a giant Son of God 90 feet tall standing in front of the internationally known building on East 42nd street seemed like an incongruity to me.   

I hadn't thought of the "Jesus at the UN" picture in years but now that it was in the forefront of my mind I was going to have to mention it to my wife and perhaps my Facebook friends to see if they remember it. But before I could do that I got distracted by other things and never got around to it. 

Then last week I went to the Dollar Tree store in Bowling Green. I wanted to find a specific arts and crafts toy for my granddaughter. We had seen it on a You Tube video we watched together the previous Saturday. I wasn't sure they even had it.  

While searching through the toy aisle I happened upon a bin of small packaged hard plastic painted toy figures of Disney villains. I caught a glimpse of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty as I passed by. She's my wife's favorite Disney villains so they caught my attention. I looked through the bin and saw Cruella DeVille, Captain Hook, and Ursula the sea witch. 

But then I found some interesting inclusions in the small  bucket of characters. They were in packages marked 
 "Bible Heroes". 

The first one I found was Mary. Not sure which "Mary" she was. She was just dressed like a typical female Bibe character. Next, I found David. He was also dressed in typical  clothing as well; in the style of a shepherd as opposed to a king. 

Then I found the ultimate Bible character. Once I saw him I knew what I had to do.  I just couldn't leave him there. The opportunity was too serendipitous to ignore. My funny bone started itching and it had to be scratched.  

I bought the Maleficent and the Bible character. Of course I gave one of them to my wife and the other...

...well, like I said, I just couldn't resist. 

I sure hope you are laughing right now or at least smiling. I think its very funny. It illustrates my opinion of the absurdity of the original painting. 

Now to those who think the "Prince of Peace" is a good visual representation of what the world needs now, I understand. I can see your point and partially agree with you. 

However, as someone whose sense of humor has never met a punchline it could resist, I just couldn't let the serendipity of this little poke at irony pass me by. 

How about you? Do you remember seeing "Prince of Peace" when you were growing up? What do you think of it? Do you have any memories that you have recreated in some way or another for yourself? I'd be interested. Please contact me on Facebook or shoot me an email (

I am working on making it a little easier for us to communicate in a more convenient way. I will let you know when that's ready to go. 

Thank you for reading my blog. Whether you are a friend or family (and everyone falls into one of those slots) come back soon. The next post will be part 2 of my "Being Whimsical" series where I continue to laugh at myself. I'm sure they'll be another smile or two for you.  God Bless.  

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