Avoiding Disaster – the Message from a Stained Glass Window

I was recently idling in the Sacred Heart Church in Raleigh when I happened upon one of the stained glass windows depicting the early life of Christ.
At first sight it appears to be an idyllic happy family get together. Mary watchfully spinning, Joseph standing guard over the infant Jesus and the infant Jesus himself with a hammer and chisel in his hand working his will on a piece of wood.
But where is the Judean Department of Occupational & Safety, where is the Nazareth Child Protection Agency?
The child is not wearing safety goggles nor is he wearing protective gloves.
It’s all very well saying that the child has his own protective guardian angels, and perhaps they will stop the chisels going blunt or other damage occurring to the craftsman’s tools. And why is Joseph holding an axe and looking vaguely lost?
Overall, it’s a picture which asks more questions than it answers.
And perhaps the real message is that unless you have the angels on your side, whatever you are doing, you had better wear appropriate (protective) clothing.

One thought on “Avoiding Disaster – the Message from a Stained Glass Window

  1. Interesting observation. I love the tongue and cheek. Ambiguous pictures and text is all part of the challenge of faith. Interpretation and free will plays a big part as well. To sense (believe) spirit (Angels) are supporting us manifests itself in how successful we are in everything we do. In this depiction, Jesus as a child, demonstrates a great deal of confidence wielding the hammer to hit the chisel – IMO. Joseph obviously taught Jesus how to use the tools, safely, as that is every parents responsibility. The fact Jesus wasn’t hurt would lead us to believe the Angels were watching over him and his tools. Joseph is relaxed and enjoying a moment watching his son admiring his achievements ready to give constructive direction – IMO. We were all given common sense. Some of us have more common sense than others. I have no explanation as to why that is that way. Appropriate (protective) clothing – yeah!! Have faith is the message!

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