So when our parish went to knock down the old convent on our grounds we found a beautiful statue of Mary, tucked in between the bramble bushes in the cloister at the back of the building. But for one missing horn (under her feet) and a lot of dirt and grime and bird poop, she was remarkably pristine and we were overjoyed that she was in such good shape. It was resolved that she would be cleaned up and restored and put in the new park that was to replace the convent.
About a month ago, our priceless statue came back from where it had been restored, a glowing bright white and now smooth surface, it is absolutely beautiful. But what happened next is so interesting to me. The statue was installed, and with her, a sense of fear. What if it was vandalized? Someone would surely come along and spray paint her, break off her fingers, smash this beautiful and literally-priceless possession. So, soon, the talk started as to how to protect it.
Now there is an iron fence surrounding this statue, with a big steel padlock on it.
The whole thing reminded me, somehow, of all the toyshops I've been in where the owners of the store clearly hated kids. Maybe you too have been in toy shops where the person behind the counter eyes your child suspiciously or follows along behind you putting right everything a child has touched. That always blew my mind.
I guess owning something of value brings with it some pressure to keep it valuable, but a part of me wants to be generous and trusting of the people in our neighborhood. The statue could have easily been damaged in the many, many years it was hidden from view and now it is in plain sight, with heavy traffic going by it at all times of the day. But of course, I might be being naive. And maybe it's good enough for everyone to be able to admire this statue from a distance... but I dunno.