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Harvey and I are sitting on the couch during Saturday rest time. I am knitting and Harvey is flipping through albums on Dan's iPhone, asking me if I want to hear various songs by describing their album covers. "Do you want to hear the pig one? Do you want to hear the guluh (girl) one?"

"Mama, Do you want to hear 'I've got blood on my hands?'"

"What? What kind of terrible gangster rap does Dada have on his — oh, that's Gregorian chants," I say looking over at the phone. "It's a picture of Jesus. Yes, I'd love to listen to that."

Harvey has more questions.

"Why's he got blood on his hands?"

"Those are the marks from the nails," I say.

"Why'd he get nails in his hands?"

"Well, remember when Jesus was hung on a cross?"


"They put nails through his hands so he couldn't get down. When he came alive afterwards he had blood marks on his hands from where the nails where."


I go back to knitting. Harvey has more questions.

"Why's the picture blue like that?"

"Well it's a mosaic. You mean why is it blue in some places and gold in some places in the background?"


"Because it's a mosaic which means it's made out of lots of little tiles. The people who used to sing this music were monks and they made these sort of pictures to decorate the walls of their monastery —"

Dan comes into the room to interject.

"Actually, these aren't Gregorian chants," he says. "Gregorian chants are mono-tonal. Secular composers who came later than the monks, in the renaissance, invented multi-tonality and made new arrangements of the Gregorian chants. The renaissance arrangements were multi-tonal. That's what we're listening to now - Renaissance music."

"Thank you Dada, but he's asking about the picture - I'm trying to explain about mosaics."

"Use the iPad," says Dan," It'll be easier to see the pictures."

So we get down the iPad and I do a google image search form Jesus Mosaic. Harvey flips through the pictures. "Oh, this is where he's on the cross! Oh, this is where he's in the tomb!" he exclaims.

I point out that the mosaics are made of many little tiny tiles. Harvey asks why Jesus has a circle around his head and I explain that artists made the circles called halos to show that people knew God. Harvey asks why in another picture Jesus has rays coming out of his head. I say because Jesus is like the sun that has rays and lights up the world. Harvey doesn't understand and I draw on the magnet board a picture of the sun and a picture of Jesus both with rays coming out of them. Harvey asks about another mosaic and I say it's Jesus' baptism. He asks about another and I say it's when Jesus died and was taken down from the cross, the women holding him is probably supposed to be Mary Magdalene since she's a woman and not wearing blue, and the man crying over him might be the disciple Jesus loved, John, or it could be the one who purchased the tomb for him.... um... Joseph of Arimathea.

"I've heard it pronounced ArimaTHEA," Dan calls from the kitchen.

"What's goin on in this picture?" asks Harvey, flipping to a different mosaic.

"That's Jesus ascending into heaven. After he came back from the dead he stuck around for forty days, then he rose into heaven while his disciples were watching."

"How'd he do it?"

"Um, he just kind of flew up there, I guess."

"How'd he do that?"

"God helped him."

"How'd God help him if Jesus IS God?"

"Um... Dan?" I yell. "Any Help?"

Dan comes in from the kitchen. "God is everywhere, so even when Jesus was God on earth there was still a God in heaven. Also, Jesus talked about God as his father even though he WAS God too."

"There's only one God. It's an amazing mystery." I add.

I tell Harvey we can make a mosaic ourselves out of paper, or out of tiles if we buy some cement mix stuff. I cut up squares of paper and print out one of the Jesus mosaic picture that Harvey chooses so he can follow the model and cover it with squares. This feels too heavy-handed to Harvey, and immediately he gets frustrated that he can't get glue on the tiny pieces of colored paper, and then that I put glue all over his picture. We end up with bits of paper all over the floor and to avoid a melt-down Dan calls Harvey to the dinner table.

Harvey sits down at the table and summarizes the last half-hour:

"I put on Jesus music for Mama because Mama likes thinkin about Jesus."

ed note: after dinner Dan returned to the mosaics and made one that was totally awesome. I feel bad for Harvey; he is often frustrated that his level of crafting ability isn't up to his desired level of production. That's what we do in our family, instill crafting anxiety along with religious instruction.


oh this story is awesome. ha ha ha

ditto Bridget! I love Dan's interjections. Hehe.

Have I told you guys how much I love your family?! Truly awesome: these stories, the questions, the mystery, the mosaic-making, the humor. Love! Keep it up! :-)

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