He asked her if she wanted a plain 'cross' or a 'crucifix' (which is what the one above is) and, not knowing the difference, she said "I want one with a little man on it."
Somehow, her response sort of sums up almost everyone's attitude to the image of Christ crucified - it certainly sums up mine. All of us who were brought up as non-practicing Christians in the 1950s would fill out the appropriate section of government forms with: 'C. of E.' when compelled to describe our religion, and most of the schools that we were sent to were governed by Church of England ministers. Catholic schools were exotic, exclusive and mysterious places run by elderly Brothers or mad nuns. I say this because - for some reason - both of my sisters were sent to a Convent for a brief period (I don't know what they had done to deserve it), but were pulled out when they came home one day, covered in bruises from being beaten by the nuns with broomsticks.
No matter how hard I stare at the image of a crucifix, somehow the message just does not get through to me. All I see is 'a little man' nailed to a cross. The image of the crucifixion has simply become part of the furniture of every day life now, but not so much part of the furniture that I would actually want to buy this piece of furniture for our compact but adorable city apartment.