“It’s from God”, I said. The girls laughed and hung on, their young legs on 6 and 7 year old springs popping their excited selves up and down exuberantly. One more time I thought about the gift of an instant, uncreated, unplanned occurence and how it comes from the Lord’s hand. The gift that makes me 6, too.
I was standing on a grassy field in Southwest Michigan with another family and our own minus two. Our eldest children and a friend had just boarded a Cessna 172 with their pilot, a volunteer with the Young Eagles program, a flight we arranged to mark my son’s birthday. The happy airmen were flying over Lake Michigan,no doubt, and marking their church building in Saint Joe, Trinity’s high spire and tower.
They were looking over the lake’s sandbars and noting the sky’s indecisive hues, contemplative, considering its coming descent into nightfall. They were laughing at each other’s commentaries, piping in through the headsets which perched on each head.
As the flight team lived their mystery, we were experiencing a tiny one of our own here below.
Five minutes or so after take off, we began to notice as we stood there a far off object in the sky,and began making jokes about the UFO we had spotted. It seemed a steady little speck~could be anything for its size, we stood, watched and waited.
Its shape confirmed itself as it drew steadily closer to us, our smaller children losing interest in the 15 minutes we noted this . They played improvised versions of tag on the green grass, then tromped merrily on the pavement outside of the airport hangar.
The shape was roundish and seemed silvery at times, glimmering every once and again from the sun, who watched all of us from his western vantagepoint. We grownups laughed when finally we could identify it, and its amazingly direct path towards us.
“Let’s run and get it!” I called to the little ones. We ran as it descended steadily, this gift from high in the sky, a smile sent down on an already perfect day. The girls grasped it,the blue string of a silvery mylar balloon marked “Happy Birthday”, undoubtedly a gypsy wanderer come to find us and give a message. Jenna heard me say, “It’s from God…” “for James!” she finished my sentence, popping up and down on exuberant legs.
Who flew that day, really?
The load and drag of the day to day was gone in a small moment of gratefulness. Jenna had captured not only a used mylar balloon, freed from its mailbox post and aged enough to descend to us, but she had also captured goodness from the Lord in the thought of it being a gift for her big brother.
So much of the lift and thrust of inspiration comes unplanned in these moments, and I so pray that those times stay with the children and never leave them. Also that I will be brave in my mistakes, bad moods, draggy moments that keep them from flying in the regular life we share. Brave enough to wait and watch for His rescue and gift, even if on mylar wings.