This post will seem more exciting and symbolic if you listen to this song while you read it. It's "Blood Of The Lamb," by Lucius. Couldn't your life use more exciting symbolism?
Updates On God originally began as a series of posts on my old, now defunct sports blog (now it's for STORIES!) that noted everytime an athlete talked about God. But why limit it just to athletes? God moves in mysterious ways, after all, and not just in athletic circles.
And nothing is more mysterious than
A group was seen last week gathered outside St. John's Cathedral in Fresno, Calif. They prayed under a Crape Myrtle tree and asked for miracles, according to NBC's WPTV. The tree has been spurting a liquid that some believe to be the tears of God. One woman even claimed that when "Glory be to God in Jesus' name" is said, more of the substance comes out.
God did once appear as a burning bush, so why not a spurting tree? Probably because He doesn't want to get aphid excrement all over him. An arborist who examined the tree says that aphids, rather than an omniscient being, are causing the 'miracle'. I'll let him explain, because as a scientist he knows how to say "poop" without saying "poop":
"The aphids will suck the sap," arborist Jon Reelhorn explained to WPTV, "the sap goes through the aphid and then it is a honey dew excrement from the aphid and it gets so heavy in the summertime that it will drip down."
He makes it sound almost nice! Reelhorn says another tree across the street is also dripping -- probably in a desperate bid for attention, the way your little sister would say "I drew a horse, too!" when your mom put your picture up on the 'fridge. Trees: they're just like us!
One priest managed to put a halfway decent spin on this, saying it's probably not a miracle but it's still a reminder of how great God is:
"Incidents like these -- weeping statues, paintings, trees or other objects -- happen more frequently than some might imagine," Father James Martin, Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine, told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement Monday. "Usually the phenomena are easily explained by science. But occasionally the causes remain inexplicable. I'm a firm believer in miracles, but I also believe that God can speak to us through natural means, as a way of reminding us of God's presence. Sometimes God gives us a little nudge -- explicable or inexplicable -- as if to say, 'I'm here.'"As proof of miracles and God's existence, I think aphids ranks rather low on the list. I mean, have you tried a "Cronut?"
No, I haven't either, but I heard people in New York are going nuts over them the way they went nuts over cupcakes a few years ago, which is great for New Yorkers, who get the thrill of constantly seeing 57 new tiny shops spring up on their block to cater to their latest whim, only to have those people's dreams crushed horribly six months later when the fad passes. Which is fair, because whose dream is it to open a cupcakery? Not mine. I wanted to be an oceanographer. About which, I really dodged a bullet there, what with the controversy over that megalodon thing on Discovery.
Father Martin's sage words were heeded by the crowd, which promptly stopped worshipping a tree and instead went out to do good works and otherwise celebrate God through living their life in an upright, holy way.
HA, no, wouldn't that be great if they did? But they didn't. They're still there, praying to the tree.
The only thing sadder than a woman believing that her best hope for a cure for her illness is praying to a tree full of bugs?
Rosemarie Navarro, a parishioner at a Fresno, California Catholic Church says, "I said my prayer and asked the Lord to give me a miracle cause I'm really, really sick."
The fact that, given America's health care system, she's probably right.
UPDATE: About an hour after I posted this, I realized I missed a golden opportunity to say that New Yorkers were going cronuts over the latest treat. Please go back and re-read this post and assume that I said that. I will feel better about life if you do.