Originally posted 9/18/04
Like many others around the world, I had a hard time keeping a straight face while reading the following story. In fact, I completely failed to keep a straight face…I outright cackled with contempt, much to the annoyance of my co-workers.
Sydney Catholics flock to fence-post Virgin Mary
07 February 2003
SYDNEY: Catholics in the Australian city of Sydney are flocking to pray at a fence post at Coogee beach which they believe projects an image of the Virgin Mary.
Devotees say the Virgin can be seen in the afternoons from a vantage point 300m away from the white post, in the east of the city, and some believe she appeared to comfort Australians worried about a possible war in Iraq. Some leave flowers, crucifixes and bottles of oil nearby.
“Some people say they can’t see her but yes, I see her. I see her crown, her white robe. I’m so happy that I get goosebumps,” Sydney resident Anna, originally from Italy, said.
Catholics are not the only ones paying homage. “I believe it’s Mother Teresa who has come,” said clairvoyant Bronwyn Wilson. “She’s very upset with war looming and everything. She comes in peace because she represented peace.”
Others are more sceptical. “If that’s what they want to believe fair enough but I personally think it’s a lot of rubbish – it’s just a fence,” a British traveller, who called himself Ric, said.
Surely these people are full of crap, right? I mean, seriously. The Virgin Mary chooses to make herself visible to her devotees, and the best she can do is…a fence?? Are some people so spiritually starved that they will resort to tricks of shadows & light to have a religious experience? It’s just like the old tabloid story about someone seeing Jesus’ face in a tortilla, in a pair of faded jeans, or in a cluster of granola flakes one Sunday morning. It’s just really, really stupid.
But then I began to question my own cynicism. Who’s to say that these people really aren’t seeing something? I mean, who knows! The Virgin Mary and other sacred images could be appearing in literally millions of different inanimate objects all over the world, if we just squint hard enough and look at it from exactly the right angle during the right time of day when the shadows are perfectly aligned. Or something like that. So I decided to do my own experiment, taking photographs of ordinary things and blurring them a little to see what they revealed. And what I discovered will truly amaze you!
My first subject was Seattle’s Space Needle. Many, many photos have been taken of this structure, and it seems to attract thousands of visitors each year. Maybe there’s something holy about it. So I blurred a photo of the Space Needle, and I got this. Praise!!
HOW can this happen, you may ask? All I can say is that nobody knows when or in what form the Lord will reveal Himself to us. He works in mysterious way, you know.
Excited by my first discovery, I sought to duplicate it. I decided to turn my camera on the most ordinary thing in the world: my lunch. I was having Pad Thai with tofu at the time, and it was deeee-licious. So I took a photo, blurred it in Photoshop, and what did I find? It was ASTONISHING!
So it’s true after all! By squinting and scrunching your face up, then moving your head into a certain position while the sun is at a certain angle in the sky, YOU can find the religious figure of your choice in whatever you happen to be looking at. Try it, and you’ll see. Still doubting? Check out this photo I snapped in a dank, dark parking lot. You don’t even have to blur your eyes that much!