NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Cathy Rader found Jesus Christ on a horseshoe crab shell last month and now wants to share the rare gift with others.
"It's a sign. It's absolutely a sign!" Rader said.
Rader said a friend gave her the shell after he found it on Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna Beach. At first, Rader said it looked like an ordinary brown shell.
"I looked at it and said thank you very much. I took it home and washed it out and set it on my front porch to dry," she said.
It wasn't until a few days later that Rader said she got a message from God after doing morning devotionals. The next day, Rader said she discovered the message on the crab shell.
"I went past it and I noticed something and I looked back and it looked like the face of Jesus. I kind of chuckled to myself and said, that's funny, it kind of does," she said. "We call him Jesus crab."
Rader said the image kept getting lighter as each day passed and started to resemble a Rembrandt picture of Jesus Christ, bringing her to tears. She said she also sees an image of an angel if the shell is turned upside down.
"I just feel so humbled," she said. "I knew immediately that after I saw his face and I Googled the Rembrandt painting, I go, 'Oh my gosh, that's the face!'"
It's a sign Rader said she's been looking for as she's been faced with challenges to publish her photography book that's all about New Smyrna Beach.
"All my devotions every day would say, 'Wait on me, I got this, wait on me,' and then I got this incredible gift. It was shown to me when it was supposed to be shown to me," she said.
Rader wants others to enjoy the image on the crab shell, hoping it'll inspire people, no matter who or what they believe in.
"Even the people who don't believe say, 'That looks like the pictures of Jesus that I've seen.' So maybe it'll help with people's faith. I hope so. I hope so," Rader said.
The crab will be on display at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library starting on Saturday.