Sunday, November 8, 2009

Buy That Man a Beer!

The photograph accompanies this Johnson City Press article makes me like Jim Stevens of Jonesborough, Tennessee. It makes me want to buy him a beer. There he is, looking at the window of his Isuzu and the image of Jesus rendered by morning dew with some regularity. He is casually nonplussed and probably ready to talk about something else. It is an admittedly recognizable face of Christ and it apparently keeps appearing most mornings. The window has even been rolled down (though Stevens isn’t going to wash it). But Stevens isn’t religious and it doesn’t seem like this will convert him: “[H]e believes strange things happen and that he has no explanation for the image on his truck’s window.”

These Madonna of the Toast tales usually grace the faithful, or those who’ve been looking for an excuse to roll holy. The image has definitely surprised Stevens but he isn’t trying to impose meaning or latch it to some aspect of his life, even with his “bum shoulder.” Stevens knows the image will stir up different emotions in different people and he’s happy to let everyone see whatever it is they want to see. Referring to employees at a market who went and took a gander at the truck when Stevens was shopping, he said, “There was no doubt when they came out they saw what they saw.”

Ain’t that the truth!

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