Chapter 34. Stations of the Cross

Liz arrived home on Tuesday at 11:30 find Kevin on the floor of the family room playing with Keller.  It was a good sign.

Brian had worked at home for a couple of hours before heading into his office, so Kevin had only been alone for two hours before Liz arrived. The first days of his being homeschooled had gone well.  

 Liz made a tuna sandwich for Kevin and scooped some leftover salad onto a plate for herself.  They sat down at the kitchen table to eat lunch. Now that he was home all day with Keller, Kevin was brimming with stories about Keller’s antics. He had texted her a photo he had taken that morning of Keller wearing Kevin’s sunglasses.  It was hilarious.  

Thank you, God, for guiding us and for being with us during this difficult period,” she prayed silently, while listening to tales of Keller’s capers.  

Kevin had caught Keller trying to open his cabinet with his paws after breakfast, and later, jumping up and pawing the partially opened trash cabinet. He had succeeded in knocking the wrapper from a breakfast bar onto the floor and was licking it when Kevin caught him. 

Keller was definitely distracting Kevin from his own woes, and he was learning to be responsible in the process. A twofer.

“And Mom, you won’t believe this, but I went upstairs to get my phone after Dad left, and when I came back, Keller had jumped up on my chair and was on the kitchen table!”

“Oh no! I’ve never seen him do that when we’re home!” Liz exclaimed, dismayed.

“Yeah, I think that he saves his best tricks for when we’re gone,” he said.

“This makes me wonder exactly what else he’s up to when he’s alone.  Maybe we should get a ‘nanny cam’ when you go back to school, but I must say that it would distract me from my work!”  

They both laughed at the idea of watching Keller for hours on end.  He was an source of endless amusement.  

Liz noticed that Brian had left Sunday’s church bulletin on the kitchen table with one item circled.

 “Did Dad talk to you about this? Liz asked, holding up the bulletin.

Kevin shook his head.  “He told me to look at it and we could talk about it when he gets home. What is it?”  

“It looks like Pastor Bernie is asking for volunteers to choose one of the Stations of the Cross. Reading from the bulletin, she said the volunteer is asked to “create a depiction of the chosen station in an art form” that will be displayed during Holy Week in the church. 

Kevin shook his head. “What’s a station . . . of what?” 

“The stations of the cross are the various events that took place in Jerusalem along the road after Jesus was condemned to death and was led to be crucified.  It’s a famous walk called the Via Dolorosa. It starts at the first station near the location of the former Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the last five stations are located. The last station is believed to be the place where Jesus was laid in the tomb. 

Looking at the bulletin, Liz said, “They have the stations listed here. Some churches recognize 14 stations, and some a few less.  I guess they are going to display the various pieces of art depicting the stations around the perimeter of the sanctuary, so that we will be able walk around from the first to the last station.”

She continued, remembering, “Dad and I walked that road years ago when we took a trip to Jerusalem before you kids were born. The practice of walking the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa started hundreds of years ago. 

“Dad mentioned to me last night that he would like to do a pen and ink drawing of one of the stations, and thought that you might want to do a charcoal or water color of another station,” Liz added. 

Kevin was listening intently. Now that he was starting to feel better, he had begun drawing again.  He had done a sketch of Keller the previous week. 

“What do you think?”

“Yeah, I guess.  But what choices do we have?”

  Liz looked at the bulletin.  Several have already been taken by others in the church.  The two left are #4 when Jesus meets his mother, Mary, and #14 when Jesus is laid in the tomb. 

“Yeah, I’ll do one of those.”

“Okay.  I’ll text Bernie to let her know that you and Dad will take the two stations left, and you can talk to Dad about it more tonight.”

Liz put her hand on her chin, and thought for a moment.

“You know, Kevin, I think that we have a book of artwork depicting the various stations of the cross that we bought in Jerusalem.  I’ll find it and you can take a look at it this afternoon and get some ideas.  I’ll set you up on one end of the big craft table in the music room, so that it won’t interfere with your studies with Mr. Morris.”

By the time Brian got home that evening, Liz had covered one end of the big table with old newspapers and Kevin had already started sketching some ideas for Station #4.  He and Brian studied the photos of the artwork portrayed for Stations 4 and 14 and consulted each other on ideas and technique. Kevin’s artistic talents, inherited primarily from Brian, had been evident at an early age. Art lessons had helped refined his natural talent and honed his technique. 

 For the next several days, Brian and Kevin worked wordlessly side by side every night for an hour after dinner.