Thursday, April 28, 2011

The face of Jesus

I am not one to see visions or apparitions and certainly not a face in stone. What I discovered sitting on the desert floor looking up at me during one of my meteorite searches astounded me. I was at least a mile from any road and the only sounds were from birds and the warm desert wind. I looked at the rock in amazement from several angles and at different distances. The face seemed to be looking at me with the agony of a man crucified. A sudden calm and warmth covered my whole body as the realization dawned on me that I was looking into the face of Jesus Christ!

I knelt down in reverence and recited the Lord’s Prayer aloud. How could I be feeling the power of Divine Love and Peace by looking into the eyes of a face drawn on stone by the power of nature? I had never felt such peace and love until that late afternoon in the warm, setting Quartzsite, Arizona, sun in late January 2011.

I, of course, wanted to pick up the stone and take it back to town and show it to my wife. Hesitating, I wondered if it would be sacrilegious. A voice said to me inside my brain, “Would it be better that the stone lay here in the desert another two thousand years inspiring no one?” I thought, good point, as I picked up the stone and placed it reverently in my knap sac.

While walking almost a mile back to my truck, one thought kept spinning in my head. What am I to do with this stone? I had seen many such artifacts publicized in newspapers and on television, and each time, I thought it ridiculous. Why do people flock to such obvious fake images? Now it was my turn to understand that faith can indeed move mountains and that there is religious value to these images. After all, I too had had a profound religious experience when I saw the stone. But, how do I share the experience with others without ridicule? What if no one sees the image in the same way I did? I decided to keep the face of Christ a secret, even from my wife.

The stone has been lying on a tray with other desert rocks on our front porch for almost three months now. I placed the image toward a sun screen so that no one could see it until I could reconcile my mixed feelings about showing it to others. This Easter, as I sat on the front porch waiting for sunrise – I again said the Lord’s Prayer out loud and the answer I was seeking about the stone was revealed to me. It doesn’t matter what others may or may not see. It doesn’t matter what people say or do not say about the stone. What matters is that surely someone will recognize the image as I did and that is enough. If even only one person sees the face of Jesus Christ and is able to have a profound spiritual healing like I did, that is enough. Who am I to pretend that the stone does not exist and keep the face of Jesus secret? I was blessed that day in the desert and now I hope you can also be blessed….

Mitt Winstead

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