What Time Is It? It’s Time For The Lord’s Prayer
A standout item in my mother’s collection of er, … well, her collection of collectibles (see In My Mother’s House Are Many Tchotchkes) is a religious icon: The Incredibly Christian Chronograph and Call To Prayer.
The visual presentation is intriguing if not awe-inspiring. As pictured above, the piece consists of a round clock face, perhaps three inches in diameter, flanked by kneeling prepubescent figures: a girl on the right and a boy on the left, each with hands clasped in fervent prayer, and each wearing pastel blue facsimiles of school uniforms, a pinafore for the young lady and shirt & short pants for the young gentleman.
A notable detail is the contrast between the boy’s reverently bowed head and the girl’s face, which is peering straight ahead with an open-eyed and somewhat ambiguous expression. Is she perhaps conveying the sublime ecstasy reflecting the radiance of her personal Savior or are her thoughts playfully straying in anticipation of more earthly delights once the her prayers are completed? Like the mysterious smile on the Mona Lisa, the enigma of the blessed clock-girl’s expression may never be resolved.
The outstanding feature of this item, however, is its audio capacity. My introduction to this treasured appliance, in fact, was its annunciation, launched without provocation or prior warning at precisely 6 PM, Thanksgiving Day, of “Our Father, which art in heaven, … ” or, more accurately, “OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, … ,” and then going on to recite the entire Lord’s Prayer1 in the resonant, fortissimo voice of an stupefyingly strident, incessantly insistent, and perpetually perky teenage girl.
As we were to discover, in fact, The Clock declaims the Pater Noster at exactly 6 & 7 AM and again at 6 & 7 PM — every
damn day. Curious about the rationale underlying the unusual 6 AM – 7 AM – 6 PM – 7 PM schedule, I queried the curator (aka Mom). Displaying incredulity that the news hadn’t already reached those of us residing in Greater Chicagoland, she informed me that this model was advertised to commence the familiar prayer only at 6 AM and 6 PM, but, she went on to explain with pride and gratitude, the specimen that found its way to her living room also holds forth at 7 AM and 7 PM as well – a happenstance that she clearly accounts a bonus and that she implies falls only a step below raising the dead and healing the sick in the hierarchy of miracles.
While I am fascinated by The Incredibly Christian Chronograph, I do feel it is flawed, if only by omission, because (1) it lacks any kinetic action other than the imperceptible movement of the clock’s hands and (2) it is, the booming recital of The Lord’s Prayer notwithstanding, deficient in the razzle-dazzle department. Consider the enhanced experience of the household were, say, a cuckoo-clock mechanism to propel a plastic representation of Jesus skyward through a maze of flashing laser lights accompanied by a booming rendition of Flight of the Valkyries in emulation and celebration of the Ascension, producing incremental inspiration at shock and awe levels.
It’s just a thought — or perhaps a vision.
Note: Originally posted Apr 12, 2006 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com
- I believe the clock’s allocution adds several phrases and sentiments not found in the original versions set forth in Matthew and Luke. Or perhaps the clock’s performance includes a number of repetitions of the Lord’s Prayer in various languages. Or, I may have lost consciousness at some point. In any case, it does seem to go on for approximately all eternity [↩]