Unexpected faces

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Clouds form a crucifixion

“It makes you think about how great God is, and how amazing it is that everything around us, including such apparently random things as cloud formations, are touched and created by him.”

Carl Tidy, who photographed this cloud image

 Every cloud has a silver lining

Carl Tidy works as a graphic designer in the south coast town of Worthing. Early in the morning on 13 January 2005, he was searching for inspiration for a poster he was designing for churches, and stepped outside for some fresh air. When he looked up, he had the surprise of his life.

There, high above him in the blue sky, were clouds which looked strikingly like Jesus on the cross.

“I was frozen to the spot and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing,” says Carl. “I must admit there was more than a hint of feeling scared as well. It was one of those moments when you can almost feel your heart sinking to the bottom of your stomach, because you can’t really take in what is happening.”

Carl had the presence of mind to run indoors and grab his camera. The image shown above is exactly as he photographed it, without any editing or digital enhancement. Says Carl: “It’s not the kind of thing you experience every day, especially on the scale that it was. It seemed to cover a large area of sky and was by no means subtle, as the photo shows.”

So was this just a random event, or was it sent by God in some way?

Carl believes that at some level, God has a hand in creating all seemingly random events, no matter how obscure. “Whether or not this was a heaven-sent, divine cloud painting by God, or just a striking accident of two planes crossing paths behind a cloud formation, I can’t really say. All I can tell you is that I was glad I was there to see it in person, and fortunate enough to have a camera around so I could share the image with others.”

He adds: “Even if it was a totally random event, it still made me think about the bigger picture, and how great God is. Hopefully it will have the same effect on others who see it as well.”

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About this module

Have you ever unexpectedly seen a picture in the shapes made by clouds, or a face in a pattern of dots? Some people have been taken by surprise by glimpsing the face of Jesus in wood grain, or a snowy field, or shadows.

In these pages we’re looking at some of these strange pictures and the stories behind them. Click and explore among the images on the left. If you know any other pictures or stories, email to let us know via the contact page.

Compiled and written by Simon Jenkins.

Categories: Creativity, Art & image,


Module contents

arrow Unexpected gallery

arrow Jesus of Asparagus

arrow Jesus in tree bark

arrow Clouds form a crucifixion

arrow Jesus in a star cluster

arrow Jesus in a fence shadow

arrow Jesus in snow patterns

arrow Jesus in woodgrain

arrow Jesus in the clouds

arrow Jesus on cloth

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