The pictures coming out of the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, wildfires are just devastating. Acres of woodland blackened. Row upon row of homes and businesses reduced to ashes.
But a TV crew with CNN affiliate WVLT spotted something of a miracle amid all that destruction. On Wednesday, reporter Kelsey Leyrer and her team captured footage of what they saw at a house out in Sevier County. It was a statue of Jesus – covered with soot and ashes, but still standing. It was the only thing left after the home burned to the ground.
The Jesus statue was the second religious item this week that survived the wildfires. Earlier this week Isaac McCord, an employee at the Dollywood theme park, says he found a partially burned page from the Bible’s book of Joel. The part of the passage that’s readable, from Joel’s first chapter reads, “O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.”
McCord immediately took a picture of what he’d found and posted it to Facebook, where it’s been shared tens of thousands of times. Many commenters took it as a sign from God.
“It provides hope and faith,” McCord said. “That’s why I shared it.”
At least seven people have lost their lives in the wildfires that have ravaged Sevier County and Gatlinburg this week.