Blondin was a 19th-century acrobat, famous for his tightrope acts 160 feet above Niagara Falls on a rope which was over a thousand feet long. His feats varied from being dressed in a sack to walking on stilts to pushing a wheelbarrow full of potatoes to riding a bicycle. One time he stopped in mid-section and cooked an omelet on a small portable stove. At one exhibition, Blondin asked his audience, “Do you believe I can carry a person across the falls in this wheelbarrow?” Of course, the crowd shouted that yes, they believed! Then he posed the question, “Who of you will get in the wheelbarrow?” Of course, no one volunteered. Dave, my husband, and I were invited to our son and daughter-in-law’s house to help plan an upcoming camping adventure for a group of high school baseball players. Adam and Jenn had purchased 30 Bibles for the two-day event. The theme? Trust. Adam asked four coaches and two close friends–Curtis, a Special Forces Operator, and Zach, an Army Ranger (who would leave three days later for his 11th deployment)—to help. The teens, divided into two teams, would follow a map to specific locations where they would be given assignments to find a locked box with instructions as to what they were to do next. In order to get the code to unlock the box, they were assigned Biblical parables or selected verses to read as a group. They would radio to the adults their interpretations of the passages. Among other benefits to the athletes, it was a unique way to show them that answers to life’s problems could be found in the Bible. As we adults discussed the best way to organize the event, the subject of “belief” came up. True “belief.” Not just believe that George Washington was our first president, but the kind of belief that changes our hearts. The kind that makes me confident about jumping into a wheelbarrow to cross Niagara Falls, trusting completely in the one pushing. As it turned out, in 1859, Blondin’s friend and manager, Harry Colcord, showed such confidence. He was strapped to Blondin’s back, and the pair set off across the tightrope. As they reached the halfway point – the most dangerous section of the rope – Blondin said to his friend, “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 shall both go down to our death.” Harry trusted his wiser, more experienced friend, and carefully the Great Blondin continued along until at long last the pair safely reached the other side. God invites us to do the same. To become one with Him. The parable in John 15:5 explains how this works. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” In other words, there is a oneness that is necessary for Kingdom work to be accomplished. Two are joined and move in sync. Sever the two and death will occur. I can think of no greater feeling than when I am “one” with God when I trust (believe) I am moving according to His desires and not mine. As for trusting Blondin to be my partner? No way. But God? He can carry me across life’s tightrope anytime He wants.
2 thoughts on “Oneness By Patty LaRoche”
I want to tell you what an inspiration your column is to me. The words ring true in my life and I know to other reader’s as well. Trust is very important in our lives and who we trust is a reflection of the direction we want our lives to go.
Patty, as always, I love your articles. They help me stay on the tight rope. To think of not swaying in the opposite direction is a great picture of what it means to abide in the vine.