By Rachel Birdsell
When I was young and spending more time in a church pew than was necessary, I learned that Jesus commanded his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood. I always thought it was pretty creepy, and having it explained that Jesus meant it symbolically didn’t make it any less creepy. It also meant that once a month I had to choke down a paper-flavored wafer washed down with some cheap grape juice. I was always jealous of the Catholics because they got to have wine for their communion, and I suspected their wafers were taco flavored. I also wondered if they got to go back for seconds on the premise of being more pious than the adherents who only went up for one round of snacks.
It seems as though Jesus is still commanding his followers to take a bite out of him, but he’s upgraded to cheese puffs, grilled cheese sandwiches and most recently a tortilla. Anthony Ruiz of San Antonio is one of the newest in a long list of people who are the proud owners of a food that supposedly bears the resemblance of Jesus. Anthony’s miraculous tortilla manifestation occurred when he managed to burn a tortilla so badly part of it looked like charcoal. Anthony is hoping to sell his burnt, Jesus tortilla for some big bucks because he’s behind on a few bills. How conveniently serendipitous. I’m not saying that I think Anthony put butter in the shape of a bearded man before he burned his tortilla; I’m saying that I think Anthony used a small torch or wood burning tool to burn Jesus into his tortilla.
I’m not sure what kind of condition you have to have to believe that Jesus would resort to making himself known by showing up in foodstuffs. I think that a more logical choice would be for him to show up in places that he’s really needed, like churches. And why is it whenever there’s a case of pareidolia, if the image is remotely man-like, it’s always Jesus? Why can’t the bearded guy be Charles Darwin, Charles Manson or some other Charles with facial hair?
Maybe I don’t understand the phenomenon because I’ve never had Jesus show up in my food. I once cut an eggplant and thought the seeds spelled god, but upon closer inspection it was gid. I couldn’t figure out any philosophical meaning to the word gid, so I just made some eggplant Parmesan out of it. More logically, I probably don’t understand the phenomenon of seeing Jesus in my food because I’m not delusional.
I suppose there’s an infinitesimal chance that I’m wrong and one day I’ll be digging into some shrimp etouffee only to find Jesus smiling up at me. If that happens, I’m going to try and talk him into jumping into my water and turning it into some merlot. That would be a communion that would put the Catholic’s taco wafers to shame.
Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her at facebook.com/RachelABirdsell.