REDLANDS - An unusual sight at a Colton Avenue clothing store - a rock embedded into the store counter - bears an uncanny resemblance to images of Jesus Christ.

"I really don't know what I think," said store owner Jonathan Hernandez, who said he also owns the store - called Cali Style - and the adjacent business, THC Smoke Shop.

The stony store counter at Cali Style is made of several rocks that are held together with mortar. The rock in question is near the bottom of the counter and if viewed from a distance of a few yards and an angle that places the viewer to the right of the stone, the rock's sedimentation can indeed resemble what can be described as Jesus' face.

Maybe.

(Rick Sforza/Staff Photographer)

It could be more accurate to say the rock looks like what a 21st Century person - grown accustomed to seeing Jesus as portrayed in European artistic traditions - would expect Christ to look like.

But the resemblance is in the eye of the beholder. Viewed from a slightly different angle, it's possible to imagine that the rock's patterns look something like the oft-marketed T-shirts that bear the face of Communist guerilla Che Guevera.

And from a different vantage point, the patterns simply look like a rock's natural sedimentation.

Erik "Smoke" Jones, who works as a handyman for Hernandez, pointed out the image to his boss. Jones said the patterns on the rock remind him of accounts of Jesus' suffering during of the crucifixion.

"I see a swollen eye and a lesser swollen eye," Jones said while pointing at the rock. "This here is thorns on his head."

Although the counter has been in place for years, Hernandez said the patterns that resemble Jesus went unnoticed until Jones first caught eye of them about two months ago.

There are countless reports of commonplace objects that have borne a resemblance to Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Perhaps the most audacious account of the decade was a grilled cheese sandwich that purportedly had Mary's face on a piece of bread.

In 2004, GoldenPalace.com - an Internet casino that made a reputation for itself with a series of publicity stunts - bought the sandwich on eBay for $28,000.

At Cali Style, the image is viewed more as a curiosity than a sign of divine presence, although Hernandez said he was a little worried that talking about the stone would bring the arrival of those who might interpret the image as a miracle.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that an actual geologist was not consulted for this article. However, the patterns do not look or feel like paint or ink and their blackish color is similar to that of sedimentation on other stones that are part of the store's counter.

"I ain't no rock scientist, but call Dr. Dre ... I didn't touch it. I didn't paint it," Jones said.

This newspaper did not attempt to contact Dr. Dre, the rapper and influential music producer, for his professional opinion.