My law school tax professor used the expression “turn the crystal” to get us to see another side of an argument or concept. Turning the crystal has recently asserted new meaning for me, in a sphere far more important to me than the IRC.
I have had to turn the crystal because I have been obverse, and thus utterly foolish, in prayer. Blessedly, our wise God does not cater to foolish prayer; instead, He urges us to turn the crystal and pray sensibly.
What sort of sense does it make, if you have a boundlessly rich and boundlessly good Father, who has a limited number of heirs, though he could make an infinite number endlessly rich, and you ask him to take something away? Why would you not ask him to give you something?
At the sobbing edge of pain, it was given to me to realize that I had been praying foolishly to be delivered from the pain. It didn’t happen and it didn’t happen. Turn the crystal. Give me more faith instead of reducing the pain! Give me the eyes of faith to see the things of faith, its power. “From faith to faith” suddenly made more lucid sense than ever before.
As I read the end of Mark, the Lord’s final loud cry from the cross as he expired, I thought, as I have thought many times before, how extraordinary it was that a man–and it was Christ the man who died–could cry out in a loud voice when his lungs were collapsing. Apparently the centurion wondered at this as well. Doubtless he had seen many people die on the cross. But the death of Jesus Christ was extraordinary to the centurion. Maybe it was because of the loud cry. Something extraordinary gave the centurion to know that the man he had just seen die was the Son of God.
I don’t ask for divine or extraordinary strength. But in reflecting on the divine or extraordinary strength God gave to this Son, I am encouraged to ask for some portion of strength, proportional to my own small trials, to bear me up and see me through. They are really so very little! But so am I.