99 White balloons

It’s hard to even know where to begin this post.  I am overwhelmed tonight with confusion, sadness, irony and so many questions that I know may have no real answers.  Yea…look out…tonight is a deep thoughts kind of post. 

My moral compass has been so shattered this past year through the divorce that I admit I am a little confused by the once black and white standards I used to hold that have now turned to several shades of gray.  Somehow I still believe in God.  Probably more in some ways than ever before.  But what sucks is that there is a tiny part of me that actually wonders…is He real?  I am surprised and disappointed with myself for even entertaining the thought, let alone blogging it outloud.  

I guess once I became a Christian some 20 years ago, I just accepted everything blindly.  I HAD to believe.  I needed to.  Now I CHOOSE to believe.  I have moved to a different place in life where I am not threatened to at least ask the “are you real” question.  And the God I believe in can handle it.  I think he appreciates honesty.  Especially when I have news like I have had this past week.

A man died this past week.  Well, lots of people died this past week, but this man in particular was a man that overcame unbelievable obstacles.  He survived an accident that left him severely disfigured, blind and dependent on others to function in daily life.  He was the kind of person that little kids stared at in awe and wonder.  My daugther was one of them.  She was fascinated and drawn to him…luckily in a sweet, innocent, and kind manner.  She wanted to be close to this man.  Underneath his mask she could sense the sweetness of his soul.  He beat unimaginable odds by surviving the accident, endured countless surgeries and was just at a place where it seemed he was getting a bit of independence back in his life and was on the up.  Then…suddenly he died.  He left behind 5 beautiful children.  That sucks. 

Also last night a little boy was enduring his first round of chemotherapy.  As I was home in the comfort of my own cluttered surroundings with my healthy girls tucked safely in their own beds, this little guy started the fight of his life.  While I heard thunder softly rolling through and the rain on the windows, he and his parents were surrounded by nurses, beeping electronic medical devices, needles, monitors, nurses, doctors, and a host of other unfamiliar sights and sounds.  I could tip toe over and kiss each girl as they slept peacefully, smell their freshly washed hair and touch their soft cheeks.  This other family was in a room smelling of antiseptics and were probably experiencing unimaginable cries and wishing for it all to be some kind of terrible nightmare to wake up from.   Our worlds couldn’t be more different.  And just a few weeks ago…they were having the same kind of normal moments I am right now and probably taking it for granted like I have done more than I care to admit.  But not tonight.   

Tonight my heart is broken for a little boy that should be getting ready to meet new class mates and teachers this fall but instead is meeting the doctors, nurses and other patients in a pediatric cancer wing of a hospital.  God…are you there?  Why kids?  Why?  I also see 5 little faces weeping as they said goodbye to their dad for the last time today.  And again I struggle with where God might be.

Near the end of the funeral the pastor and family handed out white balloons to everyone.  He said, “When Jesus comes back he is going to give one command”.  And in the pastor’s interpretation he said he thought that one command would be, “Come”.  And when he said that he asked for all of us to let go of the balloons.  The result was a profound and beautiful image…soul-like balloons rising to the heavens…obeying the simple command…come.  Whether you believe or not – that was an awesome image, thought or wish.  To be released from any chains of inhibition, doubt, cynicism, sickness or bitterness…or even death. 

Some people think that believing in God means you are weak, stupid or juvenile because it shows that you “have to believe in something” that – in all honestly could be fiction.  Some people think it is just a list of rules and have been turned off by hypocritical Christians out there that may have meant well, but came across as narrow minded, judgemental, opinionated, brainwashed, nut cases.  I am guilty of “not helping” the Christian cause at plenty moments of my ungraceful life.  Because I very, very human.

I can’t tell you or convince you what you should believe.  I am not that girl.  Because it has occured to me lately that I just might be wrong.  I can only say what I believe, or what I want to believe, or yes perhaps – what I need to believe.  That there is something out there…something, someone bigger than me.  When I am alone, which I am a lot, I have to believe there is someone out there watching over me and my girls (no…not a stalker).  I have to believe that one day my soul/balloon will rise to the heavens…or somewhere and be released from this world riddled with pain, anguish, tears, and death. 

You can call me a fool.  You can disown me.  You can belittle me and determine that I must be a pea brain to stoop to such a level of stupidity.  You could limit your interactions with me or walk on eggshells around me and really mess up a great friendship.  But I am still the same person today as I was 8 blogs ago.  I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.  I’m just trying to figure it out too.

Maybe it IS juvenile.  But for me it beats the heck out of the alternative.  Nothing.  Just science and life cycles.  If I am wrong…so what?  I lived a life believing in a beautiful idea.  Non believers, you get the last laugh.  But if I am right?  Then…wow.  The image of those balloons today will probably stay with me for a long time.  And I almost missed it.  My daughter was the big reason we were there.  She wanted to be there to say good bye.  I am so glad.

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6 thoughts on “99 White balloons

  1. Lee you said alot of what i struggle with all the time,did you hear about the little girl they found in Florida who for 5 years recieved no human love or even touch,she lived in a closet in filth.When i saw this I wonder some of the same things you are saying.My boss lost a daughter at 7.It scares me to death.Thanks for that post,nice to know there are others who are not sure about alot of things we are told are absolute.

  2. Hey Kerry. As a parent my whole world changed, but no one told me how horrific news would become. Stories about kids tend to really mess me up. I am guilty of not watching or reading much news these days, but even still, I did hear of the girl you are talking about.

    When I was younger I was a bit of a know it all about faith. Maybe I was too weak in my own beliefs to admit any doubts, or maybe differing points of view threatened my own. The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know much…and I’m ok with that. I don’t WANT to know it all. Now, I actually LIKE to hear differeing points of view and discuss them. As long as they don’t get heated and ugly. I appreciate your comments.

  3. My heart broke when i read this post. I am sad when pain overwhelms anyone, especially children. And death is a hard thing to grasp.
    But, my heart broke when i heard that you doubted that God loves those people or this world. Ouch.

  4. Lee,

    I am proud of you and your honesty. I’m like you and I turn off the TV most times when I hear stories of children being mistreated, sick, dead…the world can be a cruel, cruel place and you’re only human to doubt. We all do it, whether we like to admit it or not, in the weakest or saddest moments of our lives.

    Keep on writing:)
    Tara

  5. Lee, You have such a beautiful heart. I think it is truly healthy to question what God and “Christianity” is in your life. When most walks with Christ start they are of a true blind faith with rules that are laid out by other people. It is left up to life experiences to help us come up with our own conclusions.
    My faith has also been shaken to the core which has lead to questions and doubts. I find strength in the fact that God accepts that and is still there with that unconditional love. Keep sending up those Ballons! J

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