March 10, 2014


Guillaume Néry is a world champion free diver. Free diving is a sport in which divers descend to deep depths without scuba gear or any other sort of underwater breathing apparatus. This involves breath holds of up to 11 minutes or so (records change yearly as enthusiasts seek to break them).

Néry’s underwater exploits made the rounds on Facebook in a video that shows him BASE-jumping underwater at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s largest underwater sinkhole and boasts a depth of 663 feet. The video—shot by Néry’s girlfriend—was filmed over the course of four afternoons, and is more of an “artistic fiction,”* in that reaching that distance on a single breath is impossible.

In the short film Néry wades into clear, blue waters until he is totally submerged. He then proceeds to the rim of a deep black hole with zero visibility, seemingly without end. He soon pushes off and dives straight down into the darkness before eventually resurfacing. Truthfully, it’s kind of terrifying.

We’ve all been there—not to Dean’s Blue Hole, that is. But to places where we’ve walked in relative calm until we reach a precipice that plunges straight down into darkness. If we can avoid it, we do. But sometimes we have no choice but to go in headfirst. In those moments there is no need for trusty breathing equipment or safety divers, for the psalmist’s words ring true. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4).

Don’t be afraid of the dark places of life, for we never go alone—not now, not ever.