Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fumie


When the Japanese government was trying to eradicate Christianity, they made those suspected step on a picture of Christ or the virgin Mary. If they refused, they were arrested and tortured, and often killed.


The picture was called a "fumie." This is one example.
Today, I'm thinking about Judas, and Peter: and us.
I'm also thinking: what a simple act, to step on a picture. We would probably think: why would it be so terrible to step on a picture? But for those Christians it was denying their faith and betraying their Lord. They thought that anything that bore Christ's image was holy.
I'm also wondering: what or who else we might carelessly step on, without noticing that they too were holy?
Genesis 1:26

14 comments:

FranIAm said...

Oh my God, that ripped my heart open for some reason, I am already a little weepy this morning.

Kyrie elaison.

Pastor David said...

Thank you.

Mary Ellen said...

I have often wondered, if I was forced with torture in order to get me to renounce Jesus, would I be able to withstand it like so many of the martyrs in the past. I'm still not sure if I would be able to, but trust the good Lord will be with me either way.

Wyldth1ng said...

I didn't know or learn that while I was in japan. Amazing.

Paul said...

How apt, how challenging, how heart-breaking.

Arigatō

MikeF said...

Do you recall, Diane, that passage in CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength, where young Mark Studdock refuses to defile "a crucifix, almost life-size, a work in the Spanish tradition..." and so opens the door to his own salvation? (pp. 210-212 in my edition) I wonder if Lewis knew of fumies?

Thank you, Diane - somehow a very right post for Holy Week.

Mike

LawAndGospel said...

You must be reading my mind. I too was thinking today of the ways we deny God. What a poignant posting.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I think stepping on a picture of Jesus or Mary would be a big deal for me, because I'd see it as being contemptuous of the representation on the picture. Of course, I grew up in the RCC, where the images statues are treated with great respect.

It's your other question that's the big one. Who or what are we stepping on carelessly?

Rev SS said...

Yes, thank you for this very appropo post ... I'm with mary ellen and grandmeme mimi

Jan said...

This reminds me of that powerful and heartrending book by Shusako Eno--"Silence." It's about the torture of Japanese Christians, esp. a Portuguese priest in the 1500's. Thank you.

davenu said...

Pondering this post a bit further, I guess I stand convicted. Thank God for the gift of Christ!

Lindy said...

That's a hard question. I am not even sure I want the whole answer, or that I could bear it.

gartenfische said...

Recently finished reading Endo's Silence, in which fumies play a significant role, as you probably know (and as Jan mentioned). I thought, while reading it, that I would not have the strength to not step on the image if I were to be tortured in the horrible ways described in the book. I would like to think I would stand up for my faith and refuse, but I would probably do it and pray for forgiveness at the same time.

Diane said...

I remember the priest had to decide whether to apostasize or his parishoners would be tortured, in Silence.