I thought I'd offer a final list of things to do rather than pop off with these phrases that may mean little or nothing to the recipient, or worse, may cause unintended - but lasting - harm.
Here I am, urging people to deconstruct their preconceptions about God, and this guy finds Jesus in a tortilla.
Russ, my father-in-law, lives outside of Espanola, New Mexico. He can tell you from years of living there that the area is jumping with religious mysticism. One of the most famous sites in the state is the church at Chimayo, where people visit to touch the holy dirt and be healed. There are photos of people who claim to have been restored all over the place, along with crutches and canes left behind.
I’m not one to affirm or challenge that what people experience there is real. But I did find it interesting that the priests who serve the church simply bring in new dirt to fill the hole when they get low. Perhaps they bless it; I have no idea. But it’s interesting to me the power we inhere to certain items, acts or places. Is God more or less there than somewhere else? Is there something about the experience that opens us up to the already-present God? Is it an example of the uncharted power of the human mind?
In support of the notion that we see what we choose to see, there’s Jesus in a tortilla.
This time, anyway. He shows up in Wonder bread, tree bark and any number of other baked goods. I once saw a guy who had found a potato chip in the shape of Mary Magdalene.
How any of these folks actually know what Jesus or Mary look like is completely beyond me, but the stories make news.
CLICK HERE for a video news clip about the most recent Jesus-tortilla sighting.