Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

A Question of Faith?

I was talking with Shari-Anne last night, and somehow (with a long logical progression that I won’t get into here) we got talking about the phenomenon known as ‘Stigmata’. Basically, Stigmata are the wounds suffered by Christ at His crucifiction, but it’s also the name for a phenomenon where people apparently exhibit these wounds without causing them. They just appear.

Now, I’m a huge fan of Christian mysticism (if you want to call it that). I’m a firm believer in miracles, and the power of God to do unbelievable things here on earth. After all, He created all of this, so limiting Him is pretty pointless.

Still, I have a lot of trouble understanding the purpose of someone exhibiting the stigmata. I’m not sure why God would inflict it on someone. I mean, if we look at the example of Jesus’ miracles in the Bible, He healed and cured, raised a man from the dead, and gave people a sense of purpose and self-worth.

Some might say that much like the weeping statues of Jesus and Mary, or the appearances of their forms in everyday places, the stigmata are God’s way of showing His existence, but I find that a little redundant too. Why would He make a statue cry when He created every living thing on earth? Why would He make a vaguely human shape appear in a smear on a window when He has complete Dominion over all the Earth? He doesn’t need to prove anything to us that He hasn’t already proven, but maybe that’s just me.

Does a Jesus-shaped potato chip say something to mankind that isn’t said by looking at a tree and realizing how complicated and beautiful it is? Or by watching a thunderstorm roll in, or seeing a child being born?

Still, every so often on the evening news, we see crowds flocking to see the latest so-called ‘miracle’, where a watermark under a highway bridge looks like Mary. Why do these events impact people? What do you think?

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Chris April 28th, 2005 1:12 pm

    i think people are looking too hard for some sign that God exists that they miss the obvious. when it comes to people saying that statues are crying and someone has exhibited “stigmata” you need to ask what the context would be, what could possibly be the purpose behind that “miracle” if that is what you would like to call them. God will always have a purpose for everything that comes from Him. if there is no biblical purpose behind an event you need to really question it. in the same way that someone speaks in tongues, biblically there must be someone to interpret or someone who will be blessed, or touched in a way that God’s kingdom is furthered, otherwise it is outright wrong and should be looked at as false testimony. i view some of these phenomina in the same way, not to say that all of it is not from God, but it is our duty to question and check EVERYTHING!