St. Bartholomew’s Kirby Muxloe
Dear friends, June 30th 2019 marks the 160th anniversary of Charles Blondin’s first famous crossing of the Niagara falls by tightrope. The Smithsonian Institution quotes this record “Shortly before 5 p.m., Blondin took his position on the American side, dressed in pink tights bedecked with spangles. The lowering sun made him appear as if clothed in light. He wore fine leather shoes with soft soles and brandished a balancing pole made of ash, 26 feet long and weighing nearly 50 pounds. Slowly, calmly, he started to walk. “His gait,” one man noted, “was very like the walk of some barnyard cock.” Children clung to their mothers’ legs; women peeked from behind their parasols. Several onlookers fainted. About a third of the way across, Blondin shocked the crowd by sitting down on his cable and calling for the Maid of the Mist, the famed tourist vessel, to anchor momentarily beneath him. He cast down a line and hauled up a bottle of wine. He drank and started off again, breaking into a run after he passed the sagging center…” Relaxed about his success, after 20 minutes of rest he began the journey to the other side, this time with a Daguerreotype camera strapped to his back. He advanced 200 feet, affixed his balancing pole to the cable, untied his load, adjusted it in front of him and snapped a likeness of the crowd along the American side.  
But take a thought for the trust his manager Harry Colcord put in him when he allowed himself to be carried across by piggy-back! It’s reported Blondin told him, ‘Look up, Harry … You are no longer Colcord you are Blondin … 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’. That seems to me to mark the epitome of trust. Of faith. Colcord had watched many times, but he still had to commit to be carried. Christian faith is choosing to commit to the trustworthiness of God – and the promises concerning God we find in the Bible. We listen to our heart, we look at the natural world, the heavens, the capacity of humanity for unselfish and sacrificial love. We look especially closely at the accounts of Jesus – the impact he had on those around him, and in particular, his death and rising again. We pray… we consider and listen to others who are ‘people of faith’ and so eventually come to a position where we can choose to say ‘Yes, Lord, I believe’ – and then, as Colcord before us, commit to that faith in the decisions we make. Colcord committed to a human stuntman. We are invited to commit to a heavenly Father! Have a great, faith-filled summer! Tom