“A couple of years ago we took our bicycles down to Newhaven, crossed by ferry to Northern France and spent a few enjoyable days pedalling from town to town along the river valleys. Our last day was set aside to explore the port of Dieppe before recrossing the channel that evening.

Just after lunch we entered the cool interior of a big church near the centre of the town. I lost touch with the others for a while, but after a few minutes I discovered Katy, aged four starting at a life size sculpture of Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding her sons death body in her arms and looking into his face with an expression of real pain and loss.

Katy turned and saw me. “Daddy why has Jesus got a hole in his side?” Stumblingly, I explained that a Roman spear had been responsible. Katy was horrified. She studied the sculpture again. “Daddy he’s got holes in his feet. Why has he got holes in his feet?” “Look” I pointed to a small crucifix on the wall above us. “They nailed his feet to that piece of wood called a cross, and those are the holes where the nails were.”  “Nailed his feet?”

She turned to look at the stone figures again. Her voice broke a little as she spoke. “Daddy he’s got holes in his hands as well, they didn’t nail his hands as well did they?” Sadly, I explained. Katy moved closer to the sculpture put her arm around Jesus and rested her face down on his knee.

Suddenly I longed to go back to the time when I first understood that Jesus died for me and it really hurt, before I covered my faith in words and worries. I wanted to be like a child again.”

Adrian Plass

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