I love when Jesus shows up. In our darkest hour, He reveals Himself in strange and unusual ways. We hear claims of divine sightings. A shroud. An image. Leaving us somewhat skeptical.
Until we see one of our own. Here’s our story.
It was March 2014. Our son’s health scare rocked our world days before a scheduled spring break trip to Florida. It was decided time in the sun would be good medicine for him. And a little beach therapy wouldn’t hurt any of us.
We rented from Vacation by Owners, so family pictures were part of the decor. As we settled in on the eighth floor overlooking the water, one photograph on a kitchen shelf happened to catch my husband’s eye. Doing a double-take, he suddenly shouted, “I SEE JESUS!”
Wondering if Heaven’s gates had opened up, we gathered ’round to see for ourselves. And there He was. The face of Jesus in a family photo. We gazed at it from every angle. Struggling to make it out at times. But always mesmerized by the image of our Lord.
We were dumbfounded. Had we all gone crazy or was this somehow a message from above? Just when we needed it most?
Every glance gave us the simple assurance of the Lord’s presence. We needed that. It made us smile. Giggle even. And the kids made a game of finding Him from various corners in the condo!
We were able to get the same place the following year and were happy the picture had not been removed. Jesus was still there. Clearly visible. Waiting for our return. We wondered if anyone else had ever seen Him.
This year our favorite condo wasn’t available. Booking a third floor unit in the same building probably meant the Jesus picture wasn’t either. The kids talked about it often on the drive down.
As we unlocked the door that first day, they ran to the kitchen to check it out for themselves. No Jesus picture was on display.
Or was it?
While unpacking, we heard our oldest granddaughter shout from the other room, “I SEE JESUS!” Just like her Grandpa had two years before. We all came running.
And there He was. Nestled behind numerous family photographs on the television console was the same photo. And Jesus was there too!
Wanting to make sure we weren’t the only crazies who saw Him, I decided it was time to contact the owner. Why had I waited so long for some answers?
I discovered the snapshot was of real people. Three of the owner’s family members. Not photo-shopped or airbrushed models copied off the internet.
The photo was taken at her mother-in-law, Mimi’s, 83rd birthday. Also in the picture were her nephew and niece, Ronnie and Christy. Ronnie had faced challenges from birth. And Mimi was nearly blind from macular degeneration. It’s interesting the image of Jesus appeared between the two with special needs.
Unable to attend the party, Ronnie’s mom later received pictures in the mail. After skimming through the the packet, she stood them on the kitchen counter to look at in more detail later.
The next morning as she walked into the kitchen, she noticed what she thought was a postcard of Jesus. But as she got closer, it turned back into the snapshot of her children with Mimi. As she tilted the picture at different angles, Jesus came into view again.
She couldn’t wait to show everyone. Much to her delight, they saw Him, too. In fact, most people could see Jesus between Ronnie and Mimi. What a blessing for this family!
The owner made multiple copies and placed the photograph in every condo she owned. And wasn’t it fortunate we “just happened” to rent one of them.
I don’t believe in coincidences for the child of God.
I do believe in divine appointments. And this was one of them.
To confirm His promise of constant companionship. In the midst of the darkest seasons of life, this little snapshot has been a gentle reminder that the Lord was near. That He was with us wherever we went. When we had special needs of our own.
It may seem strange to you, but Jesus came alive through a little snapshot in a condo at the beach.
Isn’t is just like Him to show up when we need Him most?
What do you think?
Can you see Him now?
Behold, I am with you always
Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you