The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.
Blondin's greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.
He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat – once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!
A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across – one dangerous step after another – pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.
Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd's applause was louder than the roar of the falls!
Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?”
The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!”
“Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”
As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!
This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.
Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it's true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, jesus christ.
Note: In August of 1859, Charles Blondin's manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin's back across the Falls.