Sunday, October 26, 2008
“When I see David Blaine, I will say hello to him for you” I half jokingly told Samuel, the amateur card magician, my son, the day before I flew off to New York. Did I really believe that I would meet up with the world-renowned street magician and endurance artist? Not in a million chance would I have the opportunity to meet David Blaine in New York. But I half wish that it would happen. Sam and I used to watch David Blaine’s card magic on TV. We both enjoyed watching him doing street magic to entertain the crowd and also some of the ‘pushing to the limits’ endurance stunts. David Blaine is a unique person who is out to prove something to the world. He has a message to tell the world.
Imagine my joy when I read in the New York Post that David Blaine will be in Manhattan Central Park. He will be hung upside down for 60 hours, which medically is impossible for his body to endure. The pressure will be so enormous that he would go blind. I told my friends that I would be going to Central Park to get his signature for my son. It so happened that there were no classes on Wednesday, the day where David Blaine supposed to end his stunt and take the ‘dive of death’ at 11pm. I joined the long queue just to take a photo and signature of David Blaine. I did it for Sam. Its kind of silly, an oriental man in his 50s taking a digital camera in the crowd of mostly youngsters, wanting a photo with David Blaine. It was a sunny day, quite hot on that mid morning; I patiently waited for my turn.
My Philippines course mates were wondering why I was so eager and determined to get David Blaine’s signature. “You mean you did this for your son?” They were obviously touched by what I did for my son. I told them that this meant a lot to Sam and he would really be thrilled.
“Hi, David, My son Sam says hello to you. He is also a card magician.” I unashamedly greeted David Blaine with those words. “Urgh, urgh…” David was groaning. I could see his face was reddened with blood pressure.
I got a photo taken with David Blaine and also I got him to pen his signature on a card signing upside down.
Later that night I watched live telecast on David’s ‘dive of death’ at Central Park. The TV also showed some of his stunts that he did previously. David shared about his life story and what he said caught my attention. When interviewed who influenced him the most, David unhesitatingly mentioned the name of his mum. “My mum taught me two things: First, if I put my mind to do anything, I could achieve it. Second, she taught me unconditional love.” Probably his mum’s teaching had shaped his philosophy of life. David constantly pushes himself to the limits in those stunts that he did that no one would dare to do. “If you make up your mind to do anything, you can achieve it.”
David was found doing card magic’s to cheer the victims of Katrina Hurricane. He was also giving away money through his magic to the destitute. Could it be that he who has experienced unconditional love is now able to show it to others. David often does his magic to strangers in order to bring cheers to them. He likes to make people happy through surprises that came from the art of magic.
That Sunday I heard Dr. Tim Keller preached on the Parable of the Lost Son. How the father ran to his wayward, scoundrel son threw his arms around him and kissed him. It was so undignified for an elderly Middle East father to pull up his long dress and ran. This younger son who had taken his share of the inheritance and spent it all on wild living. The father threw a party to welcome his home coming without a word of rebuke. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ SO they began to celebrate. The father showed his son grace and unconditional love. His son wanted to be treated as his father’s hired servant. But to his father he has never ceased to be his son no matter how wayward he had become.
The parable reveals God as a heavenly Father to us. We are more loved by God than we ever realized.
I love my son, Sam. But I can never outdo God’s love. The extent I go to show my love for Sam is nothing compared to what God did for us.