I’ll just be blunt and honest from the starting line: I find it upsetting and disappointing that we stoop so low as to make up visions of Jesus in a tragedy like the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. She said she was hoping that his appearance in this vision would be of comfort to the residents of Paris and to Christians around the world. Let me be blunt again: This is not how Jesus comforts people. Christianity has been fading in Europe. Many Parisians and French regard the Church as outdated and irrelevant. If Jesus wants to make an impact on the Parisians, it’s not by a fictional fire figure as if now He’s visiting in this horrible tragedy. He’s not visiting them by bringing spiritual nurture, by convincing the population of the truth of the gospel, or by motivating the Church to help the poor, feed the hungry, or provide justice for the oppressed? No, instead he’s “bringing comfort” by an obscure and fluttery mystery figure in the flames.

Through the years “Jesus” has “appeared” in potato chips, on an oil tank, in the clouds, or even in a tortilla in Mexico. It’s nonsense.

It was the destruction of a peerless historic and architectural treasure. We mourn the loss, and donate to the rebuilding. As Christians, the world needs us to be more authentic. God is real, and Christianity is true. The way to the heart and soul of the world is through truth, reality, honesty, compassion, justice, peace, and authenticity. The way to make Christianity more credible is to see God where He really is at work in Paris, France, Europe, and the world. The way to make Christianity more of a laughing stock is to see Jesus in a particular photographic angle in a blazing inferno. Can we please raise the bar and stand on real things, not fabricated murky images?

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