We had an interesting visitor at our house yesterday.
We’ve just moved into our place, and I looked out through the back window, into our patio area, to see a “Get Well Soon” balloon sitting there.
It was inflated, tied to one of those little plastic discs so that it wouldn’t fly away.
Where did it come from? We’ve got a pretty substantial wall around our patio, but it’s fairly windy where we live, so I assumed it must’ve blown over from next door.
I was going to take it and attempt to return it to the neighbors, until I realized that it was raining, and decided to wait until later.
The next time I looked out the back window, it was gone.
Where did it go? Back over the wall, I suppose. It left no trace, except a little prick in my mind.
Was this message for me? It’s been a stressful time, as moving always is. We’re in a new place, trying to balance things while learning our way around. We hunger for routine and order, and right now our house is anything but orderly. There are IKEA boxes everywhere, unopened deliveries in the kitchen, nice cardboard boxes that we’d like to save for future use piled up in the dining room. There’s much work to be done, and even when we try to set aside time for rest, there’s little by way of a restful environment to be found.
Amidst all of this, a little visitor flew over our patio wall: “Get Well Soon.”
It’s an interesting wish, really. It sort of sounds like a command: Do it! Get better! Right away!
But I’ve realized that I can rarely make it happen, I can rarely improve things simply through act of will or exertion of energy. Though we stay up late assembling furniture, there’s still more to do. Though I’m happy with a particular decision on car insurance, one letter in the mail and one phone call and it all falls apart.
No, I can’t make the situation better, but I can try to manage how I respond to the disruptive, unrestful, unfinished chaos.
Sometimes, it just requires taking a break. Sometimes, a moment to reflect on all the blessings that God has provided. Sometimes, a glance out the back window to be greeted by a brightly colored balloon.
Why didn’t the balloon stick around longer? Why did he move on? Perhaps it’s because he had done his job. A moment to contemplate, to direct energy and attention to something other than boxes and baggage.
Am I better now? In some moments, I am. Do I hope for truly being “well”? I do, but all the while realizing that my circumstances alone will never be such as to guarantee my wellness. Hard times come. Bad things happen. People cause hurt. But yet, I can try to respond well, in patience and faith, trusting that Someone else is taking care of it all, while I’m trying to do what I can to be faithful, obedient, and loving.
“Get Well Soon”? I don’t think so. “Choose Well Now”? Maybe that’s attainable. By grace.