Crystal Blue Persuasion

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions[a] of God… the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel… a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures… their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.   Ezekiel 1, Selected Verses

I tend to free-associate. It’s a good news/bad news thing.  Sometimes I’m funny, sometimes I’m brilliant, and sometimes I say something that sounded great between my ears, but bombs offensively and spectacularly when it leaves the stadium…so to speak.  I occasionally wonder if I have high-functioning  Turrets!  Or am I free-associating again…??

I was responding to my favorite blog, Beauty Beyond Bones, as she described her niece with Crystal Blue Eyes. I remembered the old hit Crystal Blue Persuasion (Tommy James and the Shondells), and imagined this sweet little toddler able to play her aunt like a concert pianist with those persuasive Crystal Blue eyes.  So that’s the reference I used, talking about her niece.

After writing to her, I started hoping I hadn’t once again free-associated my way into a huge offense/embarrassment.

Crystal Blue Persuasion, I discovered, was considered by many to be a song about Crystal Meth.

Well done, Jeffrey. WELL done!  Caralyn is going to disallow every note I ever write on her blog for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately for me, that’s about as far from the truth as one can get. Tommy James had a Come-to-Jesus-Moment in a hotel room.  He’d become an alcoholic, a druggie, and blown through two marriages.  He finds a Gideon Bible, which he says “felt friendly” in his hands.  He flips the pages, stopping at Ezekiel 1 and says, “God, talk to me somewhere.”

Think about the selected verses above for just a second. Picture that vision.  Then understand that Tommy James was a UFO freak at the time.  He finds himself “reading the greatest UFO story in history.”  He was blown away by that chapter, and says he KNEW that was God talking to him.    What were the odds that a UFO nut had just been talking about UFOs to someone else just that evening and then, with the entire Bible at his disposal, flips to that chapter?

He knew God was trying to speak his language to him right there to get his attention. He realized “God is in the now.”  What was his first considered action?

He stole the Gideon Bible from the hotel room. Well, not really.  They’re meant to be taken, but he didn’t know that at the time.  Remember – he had issues.

He spends several months just reading it, but has no guidance, no real understanding of what he’s reading. Then he’s in his apartment in New York City, and there’s a Billy Graham Crusade on every night that week.  He had a real hunger for God and started listening.  He listened for several nights running.

On Wednesday night, Graham gave what Tommy describes as the most beautiful, simplest message on why Jesus came. He described that moment as the spiritual equivalent of a fork, striking a crystal goblet, producing the purest tone possible.

He put his nose and hand on the screen, answered the alter call, and was saved that night in the Spring of 1967. The whole band eventually came to Jesus within a couple years.

Crystal Blue Persuasion was that purest, truest, “tone” of the Holy Spirit calling him to Jesus.

Who woulda thunk?!?

Here’s the interview –

And the song –

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