Sunday, February 18, 2007
Jesus of the Tree
Last week in Crystal City, Texas, Betty Jo Hernandez espied Jesus in this tree. She saw more than His face, though; the nob of wood that resembles a hung head, the reach of the branches, the mottled bark and the slivered gap in the trunk looked enough like Christ being crucified for her to snap some photographs and show them around to her friends. Sure enough, word spread, attracting hundreds of visitors to the tree.
This article from MySA.com includes a slide show, which features the tree and the shrine that now resides at its base.
Most interesting about this Jesus sighting is that the owners of the property where the tree stands have been keeping low profiles, wanting to stay outside the public gaze. Having talked to lots of people who have been on the receiving end of such attention, I can't blame these folks in Texas for wanting to remain anonymous. Some people find such events silly, while others deify them, and still others dismiss them as blasphemous. For all of the goodwill generated by many of these visitations, the issuing of threats is not uncommon, and even those lucky enough to avoid bilious banter still lose their privacy. While interviewing people for Madonna of the Toast several of them told me that if they ever spotted another recognizable face, they'd keep it to themselves.