I am not a blasphemer. The strength and coarseness of my language are dictated by the strict rules we had in our house as children; name-calling was forbidden and we got in serious trouble for saying, "Shut up." Seriously..."Shut up." Bugs Bunny said, "Shut up" on a regular basis and he was a cartoon rabbit. Any indication that something inappropriate might escape my lips is preempted by the thought of my mom's disappointed face - the notable exceptions being the times when I am alone in the car and surrounded by idiotic drivers (read every time I am behind the wheel). What can I say, I am a total square. The only reason for this preamble is a sincere hope that this post will not offend anyone - including my mom.
My mom really doesn't like it when there is any association between Jesus and the world of wacky tacky; unfortunately for her, there are times when the link is unbreakable. Those times are almost always due to some well-intentioned Christian faithful who, filled with the spirit, creates a piece of art that has an even greater (perhaps subversive) impact than originally intended. This might be the case with a little bit of religious ephemera I came across whilst performing an intense round of pre-Spring cleaning.
|The back of the card explains that the original painting used for the|
interior portrait is hung inside the Little Chapel at Knott's Berry Farm.
Knott's Berry Farm!!!
Then we learn that "This picture glows in the dark and the eyes open."
As if the theme park association wasn't enough, this picture GLOWS IN THE DARK!!!
Proof that glow-in-the-dark pictures are difficult to take.
One eye is definitely glowing brighter than the other -
almost giving the appearance of a sly little wink.
It might not be the Virgin of Guadalupe on a tortilla, but I like it.
In the end, this little bit of paper may have had absolutely nothing to do with my great-uncle's funeral. As it turns out, the artist, Paul V. Klieben, painted multiple works for the Knott family and their park. Giving "This Little Light of Mine" a whole new meaning, this card was handed out, starting in the early/mid 1940's, at the end of every service performed at Knott's Little Chapel. Whether you are a believer or not, I hope it is possible to see the beautiful bizarreness of a glow-in-the-dark Jesus handed out at a chapel inside of a Western-themed amusement park. The moral of this story is that if you have a little light, including a glow-in-the-dark card, you've just got to let it shine; I think even my mom could find the amusement in that.
"This Little Light of Mine" - Sam Cooke