Monday, March 24, 2014

Fried Marbles and Internal Sparkle

A while back, I saw a pin on Pinterest about making fried marbles.  I had visions of the craziest marble-filled grease pot imaginable and thought, "No way!" The marbles did look pretty cool, though, so the next time I saw the pin, I clicked through to the link.  It turns out that the marbles are not really fried, you just use a frying pan. They are really roasted marbles.

I won't bore you with the physics of glass expansion and contraction, but you could use this as a science demonstration if I did.  Although I used a single marble, I mostly used flat-back glass beads for flower arrangements, as you can see from the picture.

Here's a quick tutorial:
1) Put your cast iron skillet (or other oven proof dish) in your oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees. Since I'm a little over the top, I heated mine to 450 degrees.
2) When the oven is hot, put the marbles in the skillet for 20 minutes. Or 30 minutes if you are like me.
3) While the marbles are roasting, prepare a small bowl with ice water.
4) Immediately remove the skillet/oven proof dish at the end of the time and quickly pour the hot marbles into the ice water.
5) Let the marbles cool and remove.

When those glass beads and marbles come out of the ice water, they have an amazing crackled appearance inside.  The marbles have been heated to an extreme temperature, cooled to a frosty and unreasonable chill, and survived both extremes.  The outside of the marble is intact, but the inside has multiple cracks that make a lovely sparkle and actually enhance the original appearance.

The point of this is not just so that you can have cute sparkly marbles. (Although you can!) We often find ourselves in difficult circumstances that feel as if we are going through a fiery furnace experience of our own.  It's not uncommon to survive the fire time, think we've made it, and go through an equally disturbing desert time where we not only feel removed from the very One who saved us from the fiery furnace, but also feel a "cooling" of our ardor for our Lord. I know I'm not the only one who has gone through something like this! Maybe you have, too.

The marbles make it through intact and enhanced because tiny cracks appear in the internal structure that change the marble permanently.  After the fire and the ice, the marble sparkles in the light and magnifies it more than ever.  That's how we should be afterwards, too.

If you are going through a fire and ice experience of your own, take heart.  The fire is hot and the cold is terrible, but the sparkle that enhances the Light can't be far behind.