The Photograph

It was on the day before he died when my grandfather handed it to me and I saw it for the first time.

It wasn’t much of anything, really. At least, I didn’t think so. It was an old photograph he said he’d taken of the clouds during a lightning storm in the 1920s or ’30s. Aside from being a little crinkled and worn, it looked as if it could have been taken that same day. The image – nothing more than a jumble of black and white spots of varying shapes and sizes – was just as crisp. It didn’t look like much of anything, except one of those inkblot pictures a psychiatrist might have. But my grandfather acted as if it were the Holy Grail, and the most valuable item he ever possessed.

“Can you see it?â€? he asked.

“See what?â€?

He turned the photo toward himself. “You have it upside down. Turn it over.â€?

As I did so, the once-unseen image slowly began to reveal itself. Not a picture-perfect portrait by any means, but it was there. Without a doubt, and staring at me pointblank: the traditional face of Jesus Christ.

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