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Jesus Creed


Pierre is Back!

posted by xscot mcknight

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.
blue-jeans-017.jpg



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jon

posted December 4, 2007 at 12:47 am


hey scot,
i kept on wondering how or what this pierre looked like. Finally! I can now rest my imaginations in peace.



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Brad Cooper

posted December 4, 2007 at 1:44 am


As an avid eBayer myself, I’ve got to say….that’s the way to “shop victoriously!” :) Pierre has now been redeemed!
All kidding aside, that’s a great illustration. Praise God for his grace and mercy that he has not discarded us but patiently puts us back together. WOW!
Thanks for a fun story with a powerful punchline.



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karen

posted December 4, 2007 at 2:37 am


The restorative power of E-Bay in the life of a post-modern consumer. Hooray for Pierre!



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Diane

posted December 4, 2007 at 8:18 am


From this story, are we to conclude that e-Bay equals Christ? Restorer of shattered eikons with “rebirth?” Actually, e-Bay does bear some resemblance to the kingdom of God: it’s a community where everybody is invited to the table. Then again …



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J-Marie

posted December 4, 2007 at 8:29 am


That guy scares me…



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RJS

posted December 4, 2007 at 8:40 am


Interesting study in story telling and memory.
Apparently he is officially named Pierre, does this require revision or footnote in future tellings?
And – do you really want a figure who “seems to flirt with every woman who goes by”?



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Diane

posted December 4, 2007 at 8:41 am


His smile is delightful. I can see how he made others smile. It’s contagious.



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Scot McKnight

posted December 4, 2007 at 9:00 am


Well, it hadn’t dawned on me that eBay had a redemptive role.
RJS … yes, I had no idea he was named Pierre since his name is not on the bust. We simply lucked out in calling him that. To find he was actually called “Pierre” made us laugh aloud.
Mischief … not flirting.



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pepy

posted December 4, 2007 at 9:03 am


Brad #2 I thought the same thing! Shop Victoriously.



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RJS

posted December 4, 2007 at 10:02 am


Luck – or subconscious recollection from original purchase or packaging? Hmm … a conundrum.
The flirting quote came from an advertisement for the piece – and I would not venture to question the veracity and insight of such an august authority.



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pat

posted December 4, 2007 at 10:35 am


congrats in finding Pierre!!!



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John W Frye

posted December 4, 2007 at 11:38 am


Scot,
Tell Lukas I want a 1957 Chevy (not a model either), 2 dr hard-top, V-8. Will he check on ebay for me? :)



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Heather

posted December 4, 2007 at 4:27 pm


Are you going to put him in your office? I should visit him sometime. ;)



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Scot McKnight

posted December 4, 2007 at 4:43 pm


Kris likes him so much, Heather, that she’s thinking for now he ought to stay in the home!



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RJS

posted December 4, 2007 at 6:20 pm


There are plenty more available on eBay, perhaps a second for the office should be considered?



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Robyn

posted December 4, 2007 at 10:24 pm


That is so cool, Scot!



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Heather

posted December 4, 2007 at 10:46 pm


RJS– Good idea! Or I could wait…and wait…



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Ted M. Gossard

posted December 4, 2007 at 11:29 pm


Yeah, I like that French look and alot that comes with it.
Isn’t it true that God works to put us together in the eikon of his Son.



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Andie

posted December 5, 2007 at 2:43 pm


This is just great, Scot. I must say this isn’t how I envisioned Pierre when I read about him in the book, though. This chap is much more jolly and robust than I imagined.
He does make you smile just looking at him; doesn’t he? :)



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