At the time, Harry Blackstone was considered the world’s greatest magician. To this day, his legacy lives on not only through his extended family in the business, but through his legendary effects like the one seen above. Blackstone was also one of the few magicians able to bridge the gap from the vaudeville stage to the tv camera.
However to an audience full of people in Decatur, Illinois in 1942, he not only became the greatest illusionist of the time, but saved their lives as well.
Blackstone got word that the theater had caught fire midway through the act. As you and I know the one counter to freedom of speech that people always mention is, “Yelling fire in a crowded theater.” Knowing the pandemonium and danger that this would have caused had he stopped the show to tell the audience, Blackstone came up with a plan on the spot.
He told the audience that the conclusion to his show was something brand new that. Something no one had ever seen before. He said that it was so large that it must be viewed from outside the theater. The people in the audience naturally excited to see something like this, filed out of the room in a neat and orderly fashion row by row, at Blackstone’s instruction. No one tripped or trampled like they would had they known it was a fire.
Blackstone used his platform and his position to save hundreds of lives that day.
If you think about that, what influence do you have that people heed your advice? Perhaps at work or school? Do you just relay information when it comes to the Gospel, or do you invest your talents and your platform wisely into a unique way that causes people to stop and really listen to what you have to say?
The Gospel speaks for itself. The Spirit is the one who changes, but if we just throw the message out there like a ton of bricks, people are going to want to run. They aren’t going to care if they aren’t engaged. This is a sad but true fact of our entitlement and instant gratification culture.
Use your gifts and abilities to reach people today. That may be music, speaking, athletics, the list goes on and one. It may be something that doesn’t appear to be a gift at all. Use whatever God has blessed you with to reach others for him. The focus is on Christ, the goal is to bring him glory through our gifts and abilities. Start today. Don’t be afraid to use what God has given you for him.
What gifts do you have?