Jesus is no illusion
Brock Gill, traveling with his wife, Andrea, has amazed tens of thousands of people across the country with his state-of-the-art visual tricks. He can maneuver a deck of cards with baffling results when his audience stands just feet away. His large-scale illusions fill a stage and fill crowds with amazement. Woven throughout the optical surprises and verbal banter is an uncompromising call to recognize the truth of the gospel. Gill recently spoke with Associate Editor Scott Harrup.
PE: How did you come to Christ?
GILL: I grew up going to church. Because I had done a lot of religious things I thought of myself as a Christian. When I was 15 I looked back on all the ways I had become deeply involved in sin. God made me sick of my own sin. I gave my life to Jesus. He turned my life around, and I devoted everything I had to Him.
PE: When and why did you begin studying illusions?
GILL: That started about seven years ago. I was 22, had dropped out of college and was working overtime on graveyard shifts at a sawmill wondering where my life was headed. I knew God had called me to be in ministry, and I had looked for creative ways to reach people. A friend of mine introduced me to an illusion and I wanted to learn something like that for myself. As I studied, I felt God begin to lead me into making a ministry out of illusions. I prayed about it. I fasted for three weeks. I just knew this was exactly what He wanted me to do. I went back to college and I kept practicing. The phones started ringing and people invited me to do events before my business cards were printed.
PE: What skills are needed to make your tricks work?
GILL: There’s a lot of dexterity involved. I have to know how to use my hands and fingers and be pretty skilled at that. I have to keep in good physical shape because some of the stunts require a lot of physical training. More than that, I have to be mentally prepared. I have to learn how to present my material and be confident in it.
PE: Do you have a signature trick, and what is the message behind it?
GILL: I have more than one, but the biggest one people can visualize easily is called “The Water Coffin.” We bought a coffin, cut windows in it and lined it with glass. We fill it with water and invite people to bring chains and locks to lock me up around my neck and wrists and legs and around my body. I’m placed in the water and have to escape.
The message behind it is found in the story of Lazarus. He was dead. He was in the grave. But when Jesus called his name, he responded and received life. Without Jesus, we’re not just drowning; we’re already spiritually dead. But Jesus is calling our names and wants to give us life.
PE: You make an escape look easy. Escaping from sin is a different story.
GILL: On our own we can’t escape from sin. There’s no snapping of the fingers. There are no magic words. The only thing that will set us free is the power of the blood of Jesus. He’s the only One who can save us and set us free. No matter how hard we fight on our own, we can never achieve that freedom.
PE: Anything else?
GILL: We’re pouring everything we have into developing creative messages to reach people who might never come to a Christian event or come inside a church. But they’ll come to a high school or a civic center or arena.
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