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Doubly Blessed

A magician receives an angelic sign during his performance when God leads him toward two little angels.

Magician

Greg the Great. That was my husband’s stage name when he warmed up crowds for a more established magician during the tourist season in our town in the Ozarks.

More than a million people visited here year after year, plenty of them to be entertained at the Mysteries of Magic Theater. I helped out, selling magic tricks and concessions at the little shop out front.

I’d get tingly when the announcement came over the loudspeaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, please welcome Greg the Great!”

After helping some latecomers get their tickets one starry night, I slipped into the auditorium to watch. “Hello, everyone,” Greg said rather ceremoniously. “I am indeed Greg the Great.” The audience cheered. The 600-seat house was packed full of kids. This always raised the noise level, and Greg loved it.

With great flourish, Greg produced an unopened deck of cards. “See this?” He handed it to a boy in the front row. “Now, sir, has this deck been tampered with in any way?”

“No, it has not,” the boy said.

“What is your name, sir?” Greg asked.

“Phil. I’m eight.”

“Audience, do you believe Phil who is eight years old? Does he look like a trustworthy sort?”

“Yes,” they cried out.

“And this is an ordinary deck of cards, to the best of your knowledge, Phil?”

“Yes,” Phil said.

“Now, Phil, I want you to think of a card—but don’t tell me. Why don’t you tell that pretty lady next to you. Is that your wife?” This was one of Greg’s favorite jokes.

“No, that’s my mom!” The audience roared with laughter. Phil blushed.

“Well, then, tell your mom.” Phil whispered something to his mother.

“Now, Greg the Great has never met either of you before, has he?” They shook their heads.

Greg opened up the deck of cards. The whole deck was the queen of clubs! “Tell me, was that the card you were thinking of, Phil?”

Phil and his mother look astonished. “Yes,” they said in unison.

The crowd went wild. “Greg the Great needs an assistant for my next trick. Someone with very special hands. Show me your hands, volunteers.”

Hands shot up in the audience. Greg paced on the stage with big, heavy steps, pretending to agonize over his choice. Finally he pointed to a dark-haired girl in the front row. “You!” Greg said, and kneeled down.

“Show Greg the Great your hands.” He inspected them carefully. “You are my new assistant.” He gestured for her to climb up. In the spotlight, she looked about 12.

“What’s your name, young lady?” Greg asked.

The girl giggled nervously. “Heaven,” she said.

“Excuse me?” he said.

“Heaven,” she repeated, a bit louder.

Greg smiled. “Ladies and gentlemen, please give a round of applause for Heaven.” The audience complied. Greg put a red sponge ball in his hand and one in Heaven’s hand. “When I wave my wand, Heaven will have both sponge balls in her hand,” Greg said.

“That’s why I needed a special volunteer. I had to make sure your hands could do magic. Greg the Great can always tell. Besides, a girl named Heaven must be magical, right, audience?”

The crowd clapped their agreement. Greg repeated the trick with two, then three, sponge balls, getting more applause each time. Finally, Greg turned to her and bowed. “Thank you, Heaven. You’ve been a fine assistant and are well named.” Heaven ran to her seat, flushed with excitement.

“Now for some magic with coins,” Greg the Great announced. He made coins appear and disappear using sleight of hand. Then he did one of my favorite tricks, miser’s delight, dropping a seemingly endless stream of coins into a tin can. The audience oohed and aahed. Greg is absolutely right, I thought. A magic show is like a little piece of heaven on earth, when everyone forgets their cares and just believes.

“Greg the Great needs another volunteer,” he said from the stage. He began to walk out into the audience. That’s odd, I thought. Greg always stuck to the front rows. He said it ruined the effect of being larger than life if he’s on the same level as the crowd.

“I’m looking for an extra-special assistant,” Greg said. He scanned the kids in the crowd as he walked toward the back of the theater. “I’ve found her!” He pointed to a young girl. She popped out of her seat and followed Greg back up to the stage.

“Yes,” Greg said, “you are exactly the one I was looking for. What’s your name, please?”

The girl looked very serious. “Heaven.”

Greg was stunned. He called out into the audience. “Mom and Dad, is that right?”

“It’s true!” her parents shouted back.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, it appears we are doubly blessed tonight.” Greg was in his glory. “Another round of applause for another Heaven.” The crowd whooped it up while the second Heaven assisted in the coloring book trick. She made the colors appear and disappear by waving her hand. The audience clapped again as she left the stage.

It was time for Greg to wrap things up. “You’ve been a wonderful audience. The two of you named Heaven, and the rest of you, every one angels to Greg the Great!”

After the show, Greg and I watched the two Heavens exchange addresses in front of the shop. As the audience filed back into the theater for the next act, I asked Greg a question that had been nagging at me.

“What made you go so far back into the audience and pick the perfect volunteer?” I asked. “Magician’s intuition?”

“On the contrary. It was a little taste of heaven.” Of course. We knew who was responsible for that bit of magic, and it wasn’t Greg the Great.

Download your free ebook, Angel Sightings: 7 Inspirational Stories About Heavenly Angels and Everyday Angels on Earth.

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