Most of the neighborhood festivals in our area consist of booths of pottery, art and handmade jewelry. And festival food. So our kids pretty much spend the whole time whining about being bored and wanting ice cream. Their process of sanctification is slow.
Disregarding all of our previous neighborhood event experience, we ventured out to the Belknap Fall Festival last Saturday. The crowds were moderate. It was sunny, with a nice breeze. Everything was perfect.
And the kids were doing OK too. They got to sit in the middle of a blocked-off street and draw with chalk. One booth had an assortment of instruments to try out. And a realtor company was handing out balloons.
I don’t know what it is about balloons, but my kids go crazy over them. If they happen to see a couple of kids with balloons, they are suddenly on mission to a get a balloon for themselves. From that point, all they can say is:
“Where did they get a balloon? I want a balloon. Can we have a balloon? Where are the balloons?”
…While Chris and I intone, “I don’t know. We’ll see. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
So they got their balloons. But just as we were about to head to the car, Leah’s balloon decided it had enough of earth-dwelling and headed off for outer space.
Leah had seen other kids’ balloons flying in the clouds and had cheerfully proclaimed, “That balloon is going up to God!” But when it was HER balloon, there wasn’t anything cheerful about it.
We tried to console her as we walked. But the whole, “There will be other balloons,” line wasn’t cutting it.
We had gone about half a block when Chris reached into a little tree and pulled out a balloon, identical to the one Leah had just lost. Like Abraham’s ram in the thicket.
It was so perfect, that even the older couple walking behind us, observing the whole fiasco, exclaimed about how “lucky” it was.
But it wasn’t lucky. Jesus cares about a little girl named Leah. And in His all-knowingness, He made sure a balloon was waiting for her. Just so He could show her He loved her.
Kind of makes you wonder what He’d like to do for you today. Just to show you He loves you.