1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (KJV)
- In 1967 while taking a class in photography at the University of Cincinnati, I became acquainted with a young man named Charles Murray who also was a student at the school and training for the summer Olympics of 1968 as a high diver. Charles was very patient with me as I would speak to him for hours about Jesus Christ and how He had saved me. Charles was not raised in a home that attended any kind of church, so all that I had to tell him was a fascination to him. He even began to ask questions about forgiveness of sin.
Finally the day came that I put a question to him. I asked if he realized his own need of a redeemer and if he was ready to trust Christ as his own Saviour. I saw his countenance fall and the guilt in his face. But his reply was a strong "no."
In the days that followed he was quiet and often I felt that he was avoiding me, until I got a phone call and it was Charles. He wanted to know where to look in the New Testament for some verses that I had given him about salvation. I gave him the reference to several passages and asked if I could meet with him. He declined my offer and thanked me for the scripture. I could tell that he was greatly troubled, but I did not know where he was or how to help him.
Because he was training for the Olympic games, Charles had special privileges at the University pool facilities. Some time between 10:30 and 11:00 that evening he decided to go swim and practice a few dives. It was a clear night in October and the moon was big and bright. The University pool was housed under a ceiling of glass panes so the moon shone bright across the top of the wall in the pool area. Charles climbed to the highest platform to take his first dive. At that moment the Spirit of God began to convict him of his sins. All the scripture he had read, all the occasions of witnessing to him about Christ flooded his mind. He stood on the platform backwards to make his dive, spread his arms to gather his balance, looked up to the wall and saw his own shadow caused by the light of the moon. It was the shape of a cross. He could bear the burden of his sin no longer. His heart broke and he sat down on the platform and asked God to forgive him and save him. He trusted Jesus Christ twenty some feet in the air.
Suddenly, the lights in the pool area came on. The attendant had come in to check the pool. As Charles looked down from his platform he saw an empty pool which had been drained for repairs. He had almost plummeted to his death, but the cross had stopped him from disaster.
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14)
- Author Unknown
Prayer: Praise you, Father, that you not only save our physical lives from destruction, but, when we receive the Spirit of Jesus, you also save our spiritual lives from destruction. Thank you for the powerful ways in which you call us to yourself. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Editor's note: According to the Cincinnati Post, University of Cincinnati officials have checked out this story, which has been posted many times on the Internet under the title of The Power of the Cross. "UC spokesman Greg Hand said two Charles Murrays attended UC then. One left UC before '67 and another was not enrolled at the time. Neither were divers. Still, Hand is not ready to call the story fiction. 'I'm of the opinion that maybe the names were changed in this story,' he said. The university swimming pool in Laurence Hall is housed in a room whose west wall is made entirely of glass panes, a fact which substantiates a key part of the story. 'It's one of those things where you kind of hope it is true,' Hand said."