The statue that wasn’t to be seen in Loveland
It is wretched, distressing, tragic – and beautiful
“The great Christian mystery of the crucifixion and the resurrection and the whole mystery of why we die, and why we die so miserably sometimes… In our time it’s a very unpopular story.“ – Trina Paulus
by David Miller
Traveling to the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross or Via Crucis, is a Christian tradition to commemorate Jesus’s passion and death on the cross. The observance began as devote pilgrims traced Christ’s path to crucifixion through Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa.
Years before filming this interview and at the time of my first seeing Abraham and Isaac, I begged the Grailville folks to let me help them find a place where the father and son could be publicly displayed, however, I remember being told they determined it too controversial to do so. It was only “appropriate for mature audiences” and no one in Loveland was mature enough to see the old testament story depicted so threateningly and savagely real.
Listening to artist Trina Paulus talk about her Abraham and Isaac and the essence of what she was conveying through the work of her sculpting hands and spiritual heart is still heartbreaking that the human soul was meant to struggle to understand such a contemptible subject.
It had been stored temporarily for several years just outside of Loveland. Loveland Magazine Reporter Alana Johnson went with Paulus to an unlit garage at the Grailville Conference and Retreat Center in 2011 to see it. Paulus hadn’t seen her statue for several years.”
During the interview, Paulus said, “Over here you will see a hand with the knife in it… and over here… you’ll see the hand with his son. I’ve done a lot of thinking about this over the years – the great Christian mystery of the crucifixion and the resurrection and… The very unpleasant thing is that God can ask everything of us sometimes… The whole mystery of why we die, and why we die so miserably sometimes… In our time it’s a very unpopular story.“