My personal favorite Jesus story (in woodgrain)

by Terry 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry


    A couple of years past retirement, I moved into a "retirement community"

    (i.e. Old Folks Home) which was convenient like a hotel.

    Once a week there would be a coffee and doughnuts Meet and Greet get-together so you would know who your neighbors were.

    Well . . .

    I attended a few and missed a few. Small talk at these things was microscopic.

    After an absence of two months, I re-entered the community room where all the blue-haired folks gathered. The conversation seemed to be about a fellow who had passed away.

    One white-haired dearie said to me, "I thought YOU were the one who died."

    I assured her I was not.


    Only two (count em') TWO guys were still alive and I was (presumably) one of them.

    Thankfully, another fellow moved in and news spread like wildfire he had retired with plenty of money!

    The ladies just adored and befriended him. In fact, they liked him so much they shared their woes with him and he became the local Savings and Loan, only without the "Savings" part.


    Well, one Sunday at the coffee thingy, I say hello to the new guy and we start chatting. Suddenly, spoke up all excitedly...

    "Did you see Henrietta's clock?"

    Well, I thought that sounded like a straight line if ever I had heard one.

    "You did say: CLOCK, right?"

    "What'd you think I said?"

    I told him I didn't think a woman with a clock was newsworthy enough to warrant his enthusiasm, so I . . . well, never mind!

    (His name was Stan.)

    Stan didn't miss a beat.

    "Oh come one, come on--you gotta go with me--Henrietta loves to show people her clock. You've never seen anything like it."

    Other folks, (always eavesdropping) jumped in all at once.

    "Oh, that's right! YOU CAN SEE THE FACE OF JESUS in the woodgrain of her clock!"

    I chuckled.

    But, the serious expressions of the others told me not to scoff.

    There were more of them than of me, so . . .

    Let's cut to the chase.


    I end up, along with all the others, marching down a few halls like vigilantes until I found myself standing in Henrietta's room.

    We formed a semi-circle around a sort of smallish version of a Grandfather's clock.
    A cheaply made clock with awful fake woodgrain.

    We probably looked a bit like those ape-like hominids at the beginning of Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey as they beheld the MONOLITH.

    You know that 2001 Obelisk, right?


    One by one the lady hominids lurched forward with trembling fingers and touched the sacred "face" of phantom woodgrain Jesus. There was plenty of "oohing and ahhing" and the others

    were purring like shaggy kittens with blue permed fur.

    "You see?" One of them urged.

    "You do SEE HIM...right?" Another one scowled.

    "Do YOU SEE our Saviour?" It was Henrietta herself this time.

    Each one of them was cocking their head this way and that like a puppy in a pet shop window.

    "Isn't it amazing?"

    Henrietta's face glowed like a Renaissance oil painting.

    I stared.

    I blinked. I squinted.

    I got closer, then farther away.

    It was sort of like trying to read an Optician's Eye Chart in Swahili.

    My internal dialogue went like this.

    "I'm screwed. If I don't see it, I'll be skinned and tossed into the furnace as a witch."


    A few minutes passed.
    The ancient cheerleader's tempers were getting short with me.
    Some were making excuses for me, while others were suggesting I was atheist or Muslim. I'm not kidding!

    "Aren't you a BELIEVER?"

    Henrietta narrowed her suspicious eyes at me while traces of a snarl curled the side of her lip.


    There have been many times in my life when I have been tested as to faith, belief, and willingness to take a stand. I have always thought you have to swim against the tide and say what's really in your heart and your mind. Take the consequences as they come, that's what counts.

    So, I took a deep breath and faced the menacing lynch mob squarely.


    "Yes, ma'am--I think I'm starting to see's shaping up... I'm almost there....oh..Oh..OHHHHH Wow!"

    ("Waitress, I'll have what THEY'RE having, please!")

    In other words: I FAKED IT.

    Don't judge me too harshly. I had to see these people every day. It was time for me to learn to go along to get along. Screw integrity. I've been there and done that. I gave at the office.


    Smiles like campfires in the night glowed among the crinkled faces.
    I was now accepted as ONE OF THEM.

    (At last, he loved Big Brother.)

    One by one the congregants drifted out into the hallway all aglow and deeply, spiritually satisfied.

    Now alone, it was just Stan and Terry remaining, glancing back and forth at each other in a weird sort of way.

    Henrietta had sauntered off to go back to the coffee and doughnut soiree' in the recreation room.


    Stan heaved a weary sigh and turned to me.

    His face was turned down in disappointment.

    "I was hoping you couldn't."

    "Couldn't what?"

    "Couldn't see the Jesus face in the wood grain."

    "I confess: I stood there in front of all those old women and lied my ass off!"

    "Really?" Stan replied with eager delight.

    "Not unless Jesus Christ looked like a knothole," I replied.

    Stan gave me one of those inscrutable looks for a second and shrugged his shoulders.

    "I wish you had SAID something. They browbeat me for a solid hour yesterday until I gave in!"

    "Ha! Better you than me, my fine-feathered friend."
    I exclaimed in my best Daffy Duck impersonation.


    We both stood there with pursed lips contemplating the injustice in the Universe.

    So. THIS is what it felt like to be a Sell-Out! Well, it didn't feel too bad at all.
    At least I was in good company with old Stan.

    Besides, maybe, just maybe this is partly how some of Christianity spread in the first place!

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    Good story, Terry! Sometimes ya gotta go along to get along. In this case, it doesn't hurt anybody and you made a lot of old folks happy by "confirming" their delusion.

    Could I interest you in an autographed 8 x 10 glossy of Moses?

  • HappyDad

    Terry...........I love your way with words. Now, it's time for you to make some toast. If it comes out right, you can sell it on E-bay.

    A man named George Maley from Windham, New York is selling a piece of buttered toast that he claimed bears the face of Jesus, according to WCHS 6. He placed the starting bid at $25,000.
    I'm not sure if he sold it or not.

  • truth_b_known

    Jesus as we know him…Obi-Wan Kenobi Jesus Renaissance Poster Art Prints | Threadfox

    One of these portraits is of Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander and the other is of Obi Wan Kenobi, our only hope. Neither is a portrait of Jesus no one ever painted a portrait of Jesus when he was alive if he even existed.

  • smiddy3


    I`m sure I`ve seen images of Jesus in WT publications over the decades , your not suggesting they could be fake are you ?

    Sheeeesh ! What`s the world coming too .

  • Terry

    I suspected that for many years (the late 50s and 60s) the artist at Bethel who
    portrayed Jesus used STEVE REEVES (Hercules) as his model.

    Mostly, I'd reckon, because the WT leadership didn't think the classic flouncy Jesus in a diaphanous nightgown was manly enough!

  • truth_b_known

    Hercules is the son of Zeus.

    Jesus is the son of God.

    No one has seen Hercules and Jesus in the same room at the same time.

  • Terry

    Hadn't thought of it like that. Did Jesus wear horn-rimmed glasses?

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