He was praying with virtually every step: Guide me God, praise you Jesus... I started to pray with him.
Posted in , Jun 24, 2013
I watched it, though I didn’t think I would (or maybe didn’t think I could). I’m talking about Nik Wallenda’s epic and incredibly inspiring high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon Sunday night, broadcast live on the Discovery Channel.
Right up until a few minutes before he stepped out on the wire 1,500 feet above the canyon I wasn’t sure I could bear to see the legendary aerialist (and father of three) flirt with catastrophe.
This has been troubling me ever since we decided to publish Nik’s piece in our June issue about his life on the wire and his plan to do what no one else had ever dared. Even as we were preparing the piece some months ago I was asking my editors, “What if he falls?” I was afraid he was practically writing his own obituary in Guideposts.
Finally, a few minutes before the walk was to begin, I turned to the Discovery Channel. Nik was close to starting. I kept my thumb on the off button. If he fell I was going to turn off the TV immediately.
Nik inched out onto the 1,400-foot-long wire, then out over the canyon. This is nuts, I kept thinking. He had a false step early on and had to pause. He still had 1,200 feet to go through high winds and whipping thermals. No way...
My thumb tensed.
Then I started to listen to the transmission. Nik was wired for sound. He was praying with virtually every step: Guide me God, praise you Jesus, glorify your name oh Lord, bless you Jesus, thank you God...
I started to pray with him, repeating everything he said. Praise you God, thank you Jesus, Lord steady this wire, Jesus calm these winds...
I felt myself relax. Nik was in God’s hands, come what may, and it was an incredibly, deeply inspiring moment, to see a man take his faith right out to the edge of what was humanly possible... humanly impossible, Nik would say, without God.
And then it was over. Nik Wallenda was kissing the ground on the other side, hugging his family and praising God.
No doubt millions of others were praying along with Nik out on the wire. Last night Nik showed me not only what a brave and talented man can do, but what the Lord can do with that man: the impossible.
So, did you watch Nik Wallenda walk the wire last night? And did you read his story in Guideposts?
Oh, and by the way, two people who have appeared on the cover of Guideposts were also present: Joel Osteen, who prayed with Nik and his family before the walk, and Jim Cantore, who analyzed the winds.
Photo credit: Discovery Channel