In my book Embracing Grace I tell the story of a little “eikon” I had in my office for many, many years. We called him Pierre because he was a French-looking man with a beret. Now for the rest of the story.
Pierre had a twinkle in his eye and some mischief in his smile and whenever anyone looked at him, they smiled. Well, as history has it, one day at North Park my windows were open and the door was open and the winds blew and slammed the door shut and poor little Pierre fell to the ground and shattered into bits and pieces. I had to throw him away. He was irreparable.
For a few years I have told this as a counternarrative to the gospel story: I threw the little eikon away, but God did not do that with his two original Eikons, Adam and Eve. Instead, God picked up Pierre and put him back together in the context of a community through the life and death and resurrection of Christ and the gift of the Spirit.
So, one time after a sermon someone suggested I try to find another “Pierre” on the internet. So I googled “Pierre” and didn’t come up with any figures. Then I tried once to google “head figures” and “bust” and “plaster” — and nothing came up.
Last week I thought of contacting the shop where we originally bought him, some twenty-five years ago. Tinder Box. After a few failed attempts, a kind gentleman in West Dundee said, “They were Bosson Heads. The family went out of business.”
I went to business immediately … I googled Bosson Heads, discovered Pierre on E-Bay, called my son Lukas to take over the E-Bay bidding (neither Kris nor I have ever bought anything from E-Bay until Pierre). Monday night Lukas e-mailed, “You won. Pierre is on his way.” And guess what arrived Friday in the mail? A brand new, mint condition Pierre for much less than the original cost. Here he is! He’s back! So for many of you who have empathized with me when I tell the story of Pierre, now there is a happy ending.