Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Picture of Faith from Charles Blondin

I like this picture of faith that comes from the life of Charles Blondin.

Blondin was born Jean Fran├žois Gravelet-Blondin 28 February 1824. He was a French tight-rope walker and acrobat who performed amazing feats around the world that always attracted large crowds of people.

He was especially famous for his crossing the gorge below Niagara Falls on a tightrope. This he accomplished, first on 30 June 1859.

The rope was 1100 feet (335 m) long, 3¼ inches in diameter, 160 feet (50 m) above the water. Carried out the crossing a number of times in front of huge crowds, always with different theatric variations: blindfold, in a sack, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelette.

On one occasion at the Niagara Falls Blondin trundled an empty wheelbarrow across the rope, and all the spectators cheered. He then placed in the wheelbarrow a sack of potatoes and repeated the feat. Then he asked the crowd, “Do you believe I could wheelbarrow a person across the tightrope.” Everyone cheered and shouted that he could. He then asked for a volunteer, “Who will be that person?” The crowd went silent. No one offered to get in the wheelbarrow. Nobody put their belief in Blondin to the test.

Faith requires action. Intellectual belief in God is not faith. Real faith means that we will act out our faith on a daily basis. Faith is getting in the ‘wheelbarrow’ and trust in God completely.

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