NEWNAN: Face of Jesus in bark of handmade cross? | News
NEWNAN, GA - Coweta County wood carver Clay Perry of Crickhollow Studios has never had so many people interested in a piece of his work.
Not in one of the scores of ornate hiking sticks and walking canes he carves with a variety of designs and faces, but in a 7 inch tall cross that he didn't carve a face on.
"Lots of phone calls, lots of texts; people wanting to see it, wanting to touch it, wanting to have some sort of experience with it," Perry told 11 Alive News on Thursday.
The sudden interest is because many see the face of Jesus embedded in the natural pattern of the bark, right where it should be.
Perry made it for his recently baptized nephew, Michael Bloodworth, but it was Bloodworth's 80-year-old Baptist minister grandfather who first noticed it.
"The first thought was that it favored the picture on the Shroud of Turin," said Rev. Jack Bloodworth.
His grandson considers it divine confirmation of his recent conversion of faith.
"I really do believe in my heart it's a sign of God showing me that I've changed, turned my life around," Michael Bloodworth said.
The cousin who made it for him from some leftover scraps of poplar wood also believes it could be a sign.
"My father passed away in '08 and I had the thought that perhaps it was a note from him, a message from him to continue what I was doing and enjoy myself," said Perry.
Thanks to his Crickhollow Studios Facebook page and an article in the Newnan Times-Herald, Perry's cross has become the talk of Coweta County.
"It's been an interesting week," he added.