Jason Amaya was watching a religious TV show and eating a favorite snack when what appeared before him made him do a double take. Renee Sperka was reading the Bible when she noticed something out of the ordinary across the room.
The two Northwest Indiana residents believe God may have sent them signs, in two unusual places.
For Amaya, 19, of Lake Station, the sign came to him in the form of a Cheetos cheese curl that, to him, resembles a miniature Virgin Mary standing reverently with her arms crossed in front of her.
"It was a sign saying that I believe," Amaya said, adding, "I pray every day."
Sperka's sign is an image in the wood paneling of her basement wall, which she said many of her friends and family members believe to be the image of Christ.
"I looked over and I couldn't believe it," the resident of Hammond's Hessville neighborhood said. "I told all of my friends. Some say it's a ghost or a man, but most think it's Jesus."
Sperka said she took photos to her pastor at the Family Christian Center in Munster, but she hasn't heard an interpretation of what it might mean. Regardless, she said, time spent in prayer has told her what it means.
"You love one another. You do unto others what you want done to you," Sperka said.
Amaya preserved what he believes to be his sign and has shown it to friends who have come over to his house. Although some of his friends joked about the state of Amaya's mind, the majority agreed with his interpretation.
Now, since his family members and friends have seen the special cheese curl, the news is spreading quickly.
"One of my friends told their grandparents who live in Chicago about my Virgin Mary, and they want to come to our house to see it. They say our house is blessed," Amaya said.
He said he's been told by others that the Virgin Mary may appear to him in a bigger, different form.
"There's a lot of different opinions. I'm open to whatever," Amaya said.
Amaya's finding a religious symbol in a Cheetos snack apparently isn't that unusual.
Several You Tube clips show a youth minister in Houston reportedly finding an odd-shaped cheese curl he determined looked like Jesus.
And, in High Ridge, Mo., a woman reported finding the likeness of Jesus on the cross inside her bag of Cheetos.
Both, according to the You Tube videos, christened their special cheese curls, Cheesus.