From a tree stump in New Jersey to a tree stump in Houston: it’s enough to give the person the idea that Mary could be an environmentalist.
Good for her, I guess, but not so much for me. I want to see the Virgin of Guadalupe! Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, she has made an appearance on a griddle in California, a chunk of ice in Michigan, and she has even showed up in bird poop (St. Francis would be so proud).
[Christianity, it seems, is for the birds. Ahhhh.]
But why oh why does she refuse to show for me? Is it because I’m a Menno-not? A smarmy surfer? A ‘P to the H to the D’? Is it due to my love for effective contraception? What is it? What does she have against me?
Or, what if I have seen it but failed to realize what I was seeing? That’s possible, right? I’ve read Wittgenstein. I understand that a line is not just a line. All seeing is seeing-as. You just have to have the kind of eyes trained to see it.
So, here you go. You tell me.
So, proud Mary, while you ‘keep on burning’ how about making an appearance in my jellybeans sometime, or even in the giraffe feces I’ll be shoveling this weekend? Just whatever works for you is fine. But, and more importantly, how about doing something a little more interesting than providing predominantly superstitious people with a twinge of excitement? You know, something that actually inspires the fourth form of criteria required by the church for it to be an ‘authentic’ sighting. That is, the seeing of the icon must result in a “healthy devotion” that leads one to practice acts of charity. In essence, the one thing that makes this all a little bit interesting is the idea that any potential “revelation” is not merely for one’s own self-aggrandizement or fetishizing, but could actually serve as something more than an end in itself.
That’s the true loveliness of being a visionary.
Now, where did my damn dog go?
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.