The whole world was devastated at the sight of the old Notre Dame Cathedral engulfed in flame.
While some brave souls worked to save relics and put out the fire and most of the rest of the world lamented the loss of French culture, history, and architecture—a few people claimed that a photo of the fire showed Jesus Christ in the middle of the flames.
While most of the whole world only saw a massive fire destroying one of Paris’ most prized and famous buildings, when one witness looked at the photo the same day, she was astounded by what she saw: a vivid image of Jesus. A few others agreed.
Those who saw and believed wondered: what message was Jesus trying to send to His believers with this manifestation? Was he reclaiming the Cathedral? Protecting it? Criticizing the mostly secular French government that had resisted authorizing the funds necessary to preserve the historic site?
Lesley Rowan, a 38-year old Scots woman told the Daily Record that when she concentrated on a photograph posted on Facebook, she saw a silhouette of Jesus against the burning building. She says so did some other people to whom she showed the photo, including her brother in Australia.
Some have uncharitably questioned Rowan’s soundness of mind but, despite the criticisms, she has stood by her convictions: She is 100% sure it’s the Prince of Peace. She also feels the purpose of the photo and the image of Jesus is to bring needed comfort to the people of Paris and the world.
Other people who have seen the photos were also convinced that what they saw was Jesus’ divine image in the middle of the flame. For them, the message here is similar: Jesus is saving the world from sin, or Jesus came back to cleanse the world of hate, judgment, anger, poverty, or even from something as specific as addiction—heroin vs. fentanyl, which is worse?
There was numerous opinion on the message behind the image.
Many of these believers took to Twitter to express their agreement.
Twitter user KellySchuberth said that she saw the image, too. She was amazed by it, too, but sought reassurance that it wasn’t just her mind playing tricks on her. Other Twitter accounts retweeted the photo, such as Otoide Joshua Mario and Catholic Doors.
Not that there weren’t skeptics, too, such as ThrillMonger, who ridiculed the idea, maybe even some who argued which drug the viewers were on at the time—heroin vs. fentanyl—to see such hallucinations. Others just decently suggested they were mistaken.
According to psychologist Kang Lee of the University of Toronto, our brains are hardwired to recognize faces in patterns at the slightest hint of facial feature. This phenomenon is known as pareidolia.
Other people see all manner of “subliminal” images where there are none. It doesn’t make you crazy or suggest you need your vision checked. Maybe you just have a strong imagination or a creative bent.
Even if there’s nothing divine (or nefarious) in the photograph, there’s no harm in perceiving purposeful imagery. If it brings comfort or reinforces faith, some good may come from calamity.
*This is a guest post written by Patrick Bailey. Professional Writer. http://patrickbaileys.com/