Opinion | Sexuality

Theology on a Tightrope: Nik Wallenda's High-Wire Walk and Our Longing for God

Why we can't get enough of death-defying feats.

When you live near Niagara Falls, as I did for 20 years of my life, its magnitude and mystique begin to stream through your lifeblood. My parents honeymooned there; in later years, we schlepped all of our out-of-town guests there upon request; and one woman's threat to jump with her child into the rushing waters led to that child's adoption into my extended family. In fact, plunges over the Falls (whether accidental or suicidal) are so common that only the very rare survivors make big news.

Needless to say, then, it was more than curiosity that compelled me to watch Nik Wallenda's historic high-wire walk over the Falls last weekend: it was my own history and heritage beckoning.

Yet, the sheer spectacle had a pull of its own, too, as it apparently did for the estimated 112,000 people who gathered to watch on the American and Canadian sides of the Falls and the 13.1 million who viewed the feat on television along with them.

Yes, we are a rubbernecking species, drawn irresistibly and inexplicably ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.
November
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.