January 21, 2005

Image of Christ appears on a piece of pine wood

You can see it at a furniture store in San Ysidro

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

Jose Perez was working at his carpentry shop where he makes furniture that he later sells in his furniture store, was surprised to see what he never thought would happen to him.

“I was going to cut off a piece of pine wood with the saw, when suddenly, the machine threw away the wood, as if it didn’t want me to cut that piece,” said Jose, who owns Perez-Lee Furniture, in San Ysidro. “I stopped to pick up the piece of wood, I turned it around, and I saw it had the cross marked on it. When I looked more closely, I realized that on the cross there was the face of Jesus Christ. I couldn’t believe it.”

Although Jose grew up in a Catholic family and his mother is a true believer, he considers himself “a person who believes in God, but I’m not a fanatic who spends his days in Church.”

Two weeks went by and Jose still couldn’t believe that he had had an apparition.

“I saw that the piece of wood was still there at the shop, I would pick it up and take a look at it, and again I would see the image of Christ again. It was then that I decided to take it to the furniture store I own in San Diego. I showed it to my parents-in-law, but I didn’t tell them what I saw. I just told them: ‘Tell me what you see here.’ My mother-in-law told me with a surprised face: ‘I see Christ!.’”

But still with his in-laws’ testimony, Jose still wasn’t convinced that he had been chosen so that Christ arrived in his life in that way.

“I wasn’t convinced with what my parents-in-law told me. I brought the piece of wood to this furniture store here in San Ysidro and it was then when my wife saw it, too. There I realized that it was truly something special what happened to me,” Jose said.

This took place last September, and since almost five months ago, Jose has felt a difference in his life.

“When Christ appeared to me on the pine wood, I was going through difficult economic times. My businesses weren’t paying enough, I had debts, I needed money. A few days before I had told Jesus, ‘Hey, Little Jesus, do me the favor, no?’ When I saw Christ face and the cross, I thought he had listened to me,” said Jose, who is Mexican-Puerto Rican.

From that day on, Jose said he feels more relaxed, with more time for his family. And although Jose’s financial situation hasn’t gotten better, but it hasn’t gotten worst either, he said he feels an interior peace he’d never felt before.

“I feel more calm. Before I was very tense. I was always moving from one place to another, trying to make more money. But since that day I feel very good,” Jose said.

And truly, just by looking at that small piece of pine wood, one can clearly see a brown face and what, some believe, is the face of Christ, with his beard, his nose and his sad eyes.

Such is the case of Candy Lopez, a woman from Tijuana who’s in charge of making the calendars and flyers for Jose’s furniture ads. Candy felt so moved by the image on the wood, that she said that when she saw it “I almost fainted from the impression.”

“I thought it was incredible seeing the face of Christ on the wood. My first reaction was astonishment, but then doubt came. I asked Jose that if he had drawn it. But when he lent me the piece of wood and I had it near me, I rubbed it with my hand and I realized that that image couldn’t have been drawn by anybody. I think it is a miracle. One hears about this type of apparitions on television, but I’m the type who says, ‘Until I don’t see it myself, I won’t believe it.” Now I do believe it is a miracle,” Candy said.

Jose, who’s the father of three boys and one girl, said he hasn’t given a lot of promotion to the Christ on the wood because his wife says that it is something very special, a family treasure.

“But I think that this is not just for me and my family,” Jose said. “I’m too little for Jesus. This is something that has to be shared with those who want to see it. It is up to each person’s own faith to decide if they see Christ or not.”

If you want to see the image of Christ on the piece of wood, you can visit Perez-Lee Furniture at 138 W. San Ysidro Blvd., in San Ysidro.

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