by David Phelps

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." - Mother Teresa

May, 1996

In what may become a tradition, I hereby present the second annual "Meditation of the Balloons." Easter Sunday morning, after we released our balloons, I watched them fly away, like a thousand tiny dots of color.

As they went, they flew in a variety of directions: Most of the balloons went in the same general direction, north and a little west; others found their own individual breezes and currents, and went in other directions. The majority stayed together in bunches or clumps or pairs; others flew alone. Most went soaring higher and higher into the clear, blue sky; others got their strings tangled in tree branches or on the edge of the church roof.

As I watched, the balloons went farther and farther away, and appeared smaller and smaller; but they were still there long after they were released. They were still there even after they were no longer visible. When we let go of the balloons, we never know where they will go; but we know from experience that they can travel many miles, and even across several states.

When we witness to others, we may find that things don't go the way we expected or planned. There may be unforeseen events or circumstances that take the conversation in new directions. We may find ourselves becoming "tangled" in difficulties, and not seem to be getting anywhere at all. Afterward, we may wonder what effect the conversation had. But with faith, we can send our "balloons of witness" out, knowing that the Holy Spirit is the wind that carries them to their final destination.

"'And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.' As he said this, he called out, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" (Luke 8:8 RSV.)


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