June 10, 2004
- Reported in the thetowntalk.com.
Written by Andrew Griffin. Cross examination glowing image draws
believers,. Shirley Cross stands
next to her bathroom window, which displays the image of a glowing
cross that appears after dark and is from
a streetlight behind her house. The image has drawn crowds of believers
and curiosity-seekers to see what some say is a sign from God.
In a window in a simple bathroom in a modest house in the Kelleyland
subdivision, the image of an illuminated cross has captured the attention,
not only of the homeowners, but residents throughout the city. For the Cross family, the mysterious image of a cross, which appears
in their frosted-glass bathroom window, is a good omen that God is
watching over them. Some see one cross. Others see many. Some see images of a crown
of thorns or an angel. Everyone seems to interpret the image differently. If you visit Shirley Cross' house at 1804 Dublin Road, preferably
after 8:30 p.m., chances are you'll see neighbors directing traffic
and throngs of people waiting to stand in the Cross' family bathtub
to see the glowing image.
On Monday, about 50 people waited to enter Cross' house. Charlotte Clark stood patiently for her turn. "I saw something about it on television," Clark said. "I
heard people talking about it, and I wanted to see it, too." In fact, word of the mysterious luminescent cross in the Cross family
home has attracted hundreds of visitors. The cross-shaped light was first noticed in her opaque bathroom
window almost two weeks ago, startling the family, Cross said. Her daughter, 22-year-old pizza shop employee Roncey Miles, was
the first to see the image. "I was in the bathroom and looked at the window. I suddenly
noticed a small cross," said Miles, who tried to get her mother
to look at it. She declined.
A few days later, Miles saw the image again. "When I came back days later and saw the cross there even bigger
than before, my heart dropped," Miles said. This time, Miles said, she got her mother and others to look at
the image. Cross and Miles felt something important was going on. "I think it's a sign from God," Miles
said. Cross and Miles soon had the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office out
there to see the cross. "(The deputy) said, 'You've got a cross in your window,'" Cross
said. "It looks like a 3-D picture."
Cross, who is a devoted Christian and lifelong Baptist, said that,
for the family, the cross has not only provided religious inspiration,
but it also has been associated with positive events in the lives
of the family members and some visitors. Cross' grandson, Eric, who soon will be entering the U.S. Navy,
said after months of looking for a job, he finally landed one. And
that the family named Cross is now housing a mysterious cross image
not escaped these believers. "The Cross family with
the cross ... ain't that amazing," Eric Cross said.
Most evenings, cars crowd Dublin Road, and pilgrims line up to view
the cross. Miles is pleased
to see so many people who want to view it. "It's
shocking to see so many people, people my age, people I went to school
with," she said. Keraneicia
Aaron, 7, smiled after seeing the image in the small bathroom. "I think it means something to God and us," she
said. The most likely explanation for the appearance of the cross is a
halogen streetlight near the back yard. The light, which shines on
the opaque window, appears to form the cross-shaped image.
Behind the Cross'
house is the Cabana Mobile Home Park. In the mobile home directly
behind the Cross' is Ricky Beauregard. Beauregard
has been busy working on his car and has not seen the cross image.
However, his daughter
saw it and told him "it was
something to see." "I saw people out there who were lined up like for a movie
... like waiting to see 'The Passion of the Christ,'" said Beauregard,
who added that he plans to see it. Behind Beauregard's mobile home is the streetlight in question. In the 20 years the streetlight has been there, it has never caused
an image like a cross to appear, Cross said. She is not worried about detractors and debunkers. Its appearance
is affecting people in a positive way.
"If you think it's a trick, then it's a trick. If you don't
believe it, you don't believe it," she said matter-of-factly. "I'm
not trying to prove nothing. Go in, and see it, and then come back
to me. Everybody's got a different story to tell after seeing it." Jim Knoch, lead engineer with the Mandeville office of Cleco, said
that what they may be seeing is light refracting in a way that a
cross or plus-sign image is visible. "It sounds like a double refraction," Knoch said. "The
light may be polarizing in different directions: one horizontal and
one vertical." This combination of light emanating from a mottled-bulb source and
coming through a frosted glass windowpane could easily give the appearance
of a cross rather than a dot-shaped point of light.
From a religious point of view, the Rev. Buddy Martin, pastor at
Christian Challenge Church in Pineville, said while he has not seen
the image, he understands the attraction. "I don't put much stock into those things," Martin said. "People
are interested because their hearts are for the Lord." The Rev. Donny Granvel of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church said
he has heard about the cross image. He understands that in this society,
people are searching for spiritual signs. However, going to church
and reading the Bible are far more important for those seeking truth,
rest in the word of God," Granvel said, "not
in a particular sign." Scientific
explanations and skeptical comments do not deter those who believe
in supernatural possibilities. Neighbor
Andrewnette Sampson is amazed by what she has witnessed in the Cross'
bathroom window. "It
was so amazing," Sampson said of the image, "so
Seals McCoy said prior to entering the bathroom that she had not
seen the cross,
but could "feel
it." Once in the
bathroom, McCoy could be heard saying, "I see the
thorns. I see the thorns." After
exiting the bathroom, McCoy said, "God is real."
titled Witness Describes alleged Phenomenon of Illuminated 'Crosses'