Everyday visions of faith

A woman living in the Western Cape town of Bellville East believes she has been receiving what she describes as ‘visions of the Saviour”.

Betty Deventer, an Absa bank accountant’s widow, has spoken of seeing the face of Jesus in her domestic endeavours. ‘His face is constantly being revealed to me in unexpected places,” says Deventer. ‘I have seen Him in the shape of the ripples on my bathroom curtain when it’s blown by the wind, also in the patterns of muddy footsteps left on the floor by my teenage sons when they come back from rugby practice, the way the dog’s blankets are arranged, and, the other day, His face was quite clearly to be seen in a plate of mild vegetable curry I was eating. A pair of floating lentils were His eyes and His lips were two pieces of sliced tomato. A bit of broccoli was even His beard.”

Deventer was widowed last April when her husband was severely injured in crossfire during a drive-by shooting outside his place of work. He later died of secondary infections at Tygerberg Hospital. Two of the three men awaiting trial have jumped bail.

Shortly after her husband’s death Deventer was herself injured in a freak accident, losing her right eye when the family’s pet tortoise exploded after her daughter had put it in the microwave. ‘She thought it was cold,” said Deventer, who shortly afterwards joined the popular charismatic religious group, The First Church of Christ Dentist. She believes the church and its members helped her gain the spiritual strength to continue life as a widow.

Visions of Jesus’s face started revealing themselves to Deventer about three months ago. Now hardly a day goes by when He doesn’t make His presence visible to her.

‘He sort of pops up when you least expect Him,” she said, her eye shining. ‘In the way the leaves sort of lie when they blow around on the braai area; in the soapsuds after I’ve done the washing up; the woodgrain on cupboard doors; the burn marks on a lemon curd pie. I even saw His face in the oil patch from dripping under my late husband’s outboard motor.”

The pastor and moderator of The First Church of Christ Dentist, the Very Reverend Roy Watts, said that Deventer’s visions were a sure sign of the potency of her faith and trust in the divine hand.

Asked whether similar visions had been experienced by other members of his congregation he said that these were not common but had occurred on occasion.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday