SEPT 23, 2001


On Sunday, September 23, 2001, I was late for services at the Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral. Storm clouds and rain had made it dangerous to go by boat , the road to the Cathedral would have been too muddy to drive, and it was too late to arrive in time by foot. 

About the time the services were to start, that is, 15 minutes before sunset, the storm withdrew, the rain ceased, and I went to the pier and started the boat.

As the sun set over the water and over the Cathedral I began to take photographs to record the beauty of what Ethicians call God’s paintbrush. (visit

My boat was the only one on the waters and no one had come by foot over the ‘ Creation Trail’. Therefore, I decided to conduct services from the water where a better view of the ever-changing colors of the storm-clouded sunset would be visible.

After the sun had set and the moon had risen the colors and reflections were still vibrant in both the clouds and upon the waters. I headed for home at full-speed and for some reason, instead of docking, I headed back out to mid-lake to catch the last afterglow of sunset.

I looked toward the Wilderness Cathedral and in the clouds above appeared an incredibly beautiful female face with oriental eyes, a petite nose, and a Mona Lisa smile.

Dumfounded, I stared for what must have been several minutes. Remembering that my digital camera was with me I attempted to take a photograph but it was too dark to render the image. 

I stared again for a minute or two and the face remained intact, high above the Cathedral, gazing upon me with a sublime beauty and emitting an spiritual glow and ephemeral essence.

For only an instant I glanced at my watch to determine the time of this wonderful and mysterious moment. My watch indicated that the sun had set approximately 28 minutes before.

When I looked up after only a couple of seconds the image which had been intact for several minutes before had disappeared and only the afterglow of the sunset remained.

The cries of the terns as they settled down for the night and the haunting call of the screech owl were the sounds of the night that enveloped me before I started the engine of the boat and returned to the dock.

The first time that I had seen a human face over the Cathedral the image had been that of God in the form of a bearded man or at least His Angel in that form. This time the image in the clouds, which emitted a spiritual essence was that of a beautiful madonna.

But who was she and what was she trying to tell me? Perhaps I will never know, but my spiritual experiences at The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral are messages from God who will reveal the mystery when He is ready for me to understand.


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