Jean Francois Gravelot, better known as Monsieur Charles Blondin was perhaps, one of the greatest entertainers from the 1800s, known for walking over a tightrope in daring situations.
Since 1858, Blondin started doing appearances over Niagara Falls and each time they got more daring. One time he did a backflip. Another time, he crossed blindfolded into Canada with a sack over his head, upon his return he had a Daguerreotype camera and stopped mid rope to take a picture.
People were amazed, happy and anxious at the same time. Since the crowd was pumped up, he asked, “Do you all think I can cross with someone on my back?”
“Yes!” The crowd shouted, “We know you can do it!”
“Who wants to get on my back so we can cross it together?” Blondin asked.
There was complete silence. Seconds ago, everyone believed he could do the unimaginable but when they were asked to trust him, there was complete silence.
Because the show must go on, Blondin asked his manager, Harry Colcord, to join him.
These were the instructions that Blondin gave to him, “Look up, Harry … you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself. If you do we will both go to our death.”
People stood amazed as the 140-pound Charles Blondin carried a man about the same weight as him along with a 50-pound balance pole. How could this be?
In an interview, Colcord was asked why he did it, and his response was, “Blondin is more than a showman; he is my friend and colleague. I have seen him do this plenty of times, so I have all trust in him.”
Over the years, Colcord rode on his back two more times. In order for them to successfully cross the Falls, they had to become one. Colcord had to trust Blondin.
As I reflect over the past years through the pandemic, I am, unfortunately, reminded of the loss of a family member, the loss of touch as we were forced to isolate and loss of a job. At times all I can think of are things that seem to drive me away from trusting and become one with my Savior.
Then in my “Gabriel’s forever alone pity party” the first thing that comes to mind is Joshua 24 when God does a review of Israel’s history. Please allow me to paraphrase: I took Abraham … I gave him Isaac … to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau … I sent Moses … I defeated Egypt … I brought you to the land of the Amorites and protected you … I annihilated them … I rescued you … I handed them to you … I gave you land. If you noticed it was always about him, the great I AM!
In my weakness, he became strong. In my self-pity, he became my self-worth. He was always there then and will always be here today. I was distracted and could not see past my situation. If I was a little more like Colcord and fully trusted God, this journey would have been very different.
As Blondin instructed Colcord, Paul instructs us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things, and reminds us that we have been raised with Christ … and your life is hidden with Christ in God … and you will also appear with him in glory (Colossians 3).
So, 2022 is here. Will you trust God, our father, who has literally carried you? Or will you be distracted by everything you see in social media, the web and the news?
“Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
Written by Gabriel Flores, missions and humanitarian aid manager for Buckner International Missions.