Last night I watched on TV as Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. It was a crazy stunt, I couldn’t believe it as he put one foot over the other, with the gorge roaring just below him. So scary!
The television coverage was very annoying, for the most part, detracting rather than adding to the intensity of the moment. What I did find striking was the fact that Nik had an earpiece and could talk to the control room. And in the control room was his father Terry, who was in constant contact with Nik as his coach. Terry was a tightrope walker himself for over 30 years. He watched Nik on the cameras, and gave him advice about his rhythm and kept checking in on him and telling him that he was doing great.
As Nik edged out on the wire, balancing high above the lip of the falls below him, it seemed impossibly scary. Such a lonely walk. But Nik believed he could do it, and he had his dad’s voice in his ear the whole way.
What surprised me too, was that Nik was praying almost the whole way across. Why that surprised me, I’m not sure, because if there is any dangerous place in the world where you would feel the need to pray, surely it would be balancing over the falls on a wire! But faith was certainly a part of Nik and his family’s life. His earthly father and his heavenly father, with him every lonely step of the way.
It’s a powerful image for us to take into worship tomorrow. We will be concentrating on being thankful for parents and those who have raised us. I hope you can join us!
This week’s prayer: Loving God; you love us more deeply and completely than any earthly parent; help us to become aware of your tender care for us, your voice of love with us every step of the way. Amen.