A Texas man says that he might have found an image of Jesus Christ on a knot of wood that miraculously appeared on Wednesday.
Eddie Fregia of Hardin says that while cutting some wood at the Potetz Home Center of Cleveland to make a table he noticed a strange knot on one of the cut wood pieces.
Fregia told a Houston newspaper that he rushed to get a coworker who also remarked that the knot that appeared looked like Jesus.
Fregia’s wife told The Christian Post that she believed her husband “did not create it” and that he was “very touched” and “surprised” by the image appearing.
She also said that although in an earlier interview with the Cleveland Advocate her husband had said that it might be taken to their church this coming Sunday, she explained that no such plans were being considered.
As the Fregias continue to get attention from the press, pastors from churches across Texas have voiced their thoughts about the story.
“Since we have no photographs or actual images of Jesus from his own time, who can say whether the image depicted in the knot of wood resembles Jesus or not?” said Larry Bethune, senior pastor of University Baptist Church in Austin, to CP.
“Perhaps such ‘apparitions’ reassure some believers, but they reflect our faith poorly to nonbelievers and confirm the widespread opinion that all Christian belief is superstition.”
Bethune believed that Christians should not be looking for Jesus in objects like wood, toasts, or cloud formations, but rather among the faces of “the least of these.”
The Rev. Sherman Stenson of St. Paul Lutheran Church, meanwhile, thought that the story was a “mixed bag” for Christians.
“It's likely that such stories merely accentuate and reinforce the impressions the readers already have of Jesus and of Christianity, rather than swaying them from one side to another,” said Stenson.
“On the one hand, any opportunity to bring Jesus Christ into a conversation is a place to open doors for the discussion of sin and grace, law and Gospel, condemnation and salvation. On the other hand, claims of seeing Jesus' imagined likeness in food, clouds, flowers, wood, or any other material often tend to trivialize him, rather than glorify him.”
This is not the first claim of a miraculous image of Jesus appearing on wood this year. In February, the Orange County Register reported that a Mission Viejo, Calif., resident claimed to have found an image of Jesus on an old rocking chair.
Lou Balducci found the image on a rocking chair that had been in his yard for years. Originally intending to throw it away, in June Balducci put the chair on ebay at a starting price of $25,000.
“Now people from all around the world can travel and experience the possible healing powers of the chair,” read the ad posted on the ebay site.