image of Jesus appears on church wall
crew of pressure washers used acid, bleach and torrents of water to remove
the stain from the side of Palma Sola Presbyterian Church in Bradenton,
Florida. But no matter how hard they tried, the image still peered down
from the wall. The 15-foot figure, which appears to be topped with a halo,
has become an object of pilgrimage for people looking to be healed or
to be closer to God.
The image appeared on 10 May 2000 on the east side of the church
after the structure underwent its first cleaning since it was built
in the early 1970s. "I am very humbled by it," says Alice
Leonards, an 11-year member of the church.
Last fall, Palma Sola, a 900-member congregation, held a fund-raiser
to clean the church. About 20 minutes after the cleaning crew finished
their work, the figure emerged. Before telling the pastor what they
found, the crew tried to get rid of the image. "They were so
afraid I would think they did this during the spraying," says
the Reverend Richard Dennis. Dennis went outside, looked up and
was astounded. "They asked: 'What do you see?' I said: 'I see
the face of Jesus,'" says Dennis, who believes it is a sign
that his church is doing good things.
The church has received numerous telephone calls, but Dennis says
not all the calls have been good. Some people are concerned about
the church's use of water - to keep the image visible, the building
has to be wet: approximately every hour, a church employee has been
wetting the wall. Dennis says he's trying to be mindful of water
restrictions. "We're aware of the drought," he says. "We
are trying to be as careful as possible." John Zimmerman, the
county's water manager, says he also has received a few complaints.
face of Jesus "
But Zimmerman says he is not about to tell the church to stop watering
the wall. "We don't see any restriction on the use of water to maintain
the image of Christ," Zimmerman says.
(Source: St. Petersburg, Florida Times, USA)
from: Share International July/August 2000
Reprinted by courtesy of © Share