White Balloons and Rising Up
What happens when crazy faith transitions into fading faith?
The answer to this question I wasn’t even asking, are in the moments below. I hope it encourages us to take steps, leaps, jumps toward a faith without safety nets and training wheels and other safety devices that keep one from feeling the adrenaline of a faith-filled adventure with our God.
Sitting here early Christmas Eve morning near the fireplace, waiting for daylight to arrive so I can run with one of my girls, I simultaneously skim a catalog and listen to a message from a church in Oklahoma, convinced by an internal stir to do so, when I notice I’m not listening at all. Exiting out, I see the pastor standing over, talking to an inanimate object on the ground: a white balloon.
The series is called Crazy Faith, with this particular message titled, Fading Faith. Apparently the illustration started with the balloon high in the air, and as his message went on, it very slowly fell to the floor. I didn’t know this at the time as I wasn’t actually watching, only attempting to listen, and only notice later when I go to watch the message in its entirety.
We have a routine, my daughter and I, where we run together for a mile, stretch, and go off our separate ways until we meet at the finish line. This day is no different. It is quiet–hardly another person on the trail, likely because of the holiday on the horizon. I am in the midst of a song I can’t remember, when I see something in the right side of my vision in the brush: a white balloon. It’s sitting there, begging me to stop and pay attention. I believe sent from a God who desires to cause this child of His to remember.
You used to jump out on the water, taking risks instead of calculations, knowing it is better to dry off than stay dry?
Remember when you left the Midwest on the smallest of whispers, knowing the voice was to you and not your own–the voice whispering you to abundant life when you take the step of faith and heed the internal instruction?
When did you start preferring predictable, comfortable, caution? Could it be you became afraid to desire more, in fear of previous begging and pleading not answered how you hoped, and as a result, it placed barriers around your faith to protect from additional, unwanted pain?
Do you get that you miss out on more when you protect yourself in this way?
Like the man outside the temple, begging for money, receives healing when he leans in as Peter says, “Silver and gold I do not have, but in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk.”
The man had a choice. He could’ve said, “No thank you.”
Instead, he took the risk, and took Peter’s hand.
I believe this is what He’s referring to with the many moments as of late, like stirring my heart when my hearing ears hear words like, rise up and walk, and my seeing eyes see objects like balloons.
Here I am searching for life’s meaning in what makes sense, all things logical and rational, and God jolts me to life in ways I hardly know coming, hoping I return to my crazy faith from days gone by.
I prefer this to billboards. The small, intimate scenes lining up along the way, until one, the one with realization on my part, causes my heart to skip, flushes the cheeks and fuels hope.
This is where my faith has faded. Oh, I have faith in the big stuff: death, burial, resurrection. eternal security in a perfect life in the forever, after life here has terminated.
But somewhere in the middle, I fell to the ground, cried, “uncle” and gave up with hardly a fight.
We know the man took hold of Peter’s offer, even though it hardly made a stitch of sense in the logical. And before he could think straight, his legs straightened to a stance, then a step, then a leap of joy–one he never experienced before.
What if we rise up and walk into this year, this life, with a new sense of abundance for the unpredictable, and allow God to show up on timetables we hardly expect–ready to experience life in the full? How different our futures may be.