Thursday, August 17, 2017


In my prayer journal I wrote: "I want to experience your presence, God, in OBVIOUS ways today." I had been feeling a little disconnected; unanchored in my core. Prayer felt ritualistic and shallow these last few months.

Time to dig deeper.

I still remember our family trips to the Wildwood, New Jersey beach when I was a kid. The only way my eight-year-old legs would survive the endless trek to the shoreline was the anticipation of finding those little sand clams. The moment I got to the water, I’d drop to my knees and start to dig. With the very first scoop, those tiny shells appeared. I’d giggle as they hesitated for a second or two, then twitched their way back down. A thin film of salt water would soon flow over them, fully hiding them, and I’d repeat the scooping. They never stopped digging deeper. Doing this in my prayer life helps me find safety, too.

Back to my journaling. I asked God to be with my daughter as she attended her senior prom that evening. Before long, her high school graduation would mark the final chapter in my soon-to-be empty nest. I wonder: Did I do this parenting thing well? What is my role now?

That same day, as I was driving home, I couldn’t help but notice a scarlet red hot air balloon, as big as the clouds where it floated, nearby. There were yellow words written on the back side of the balloon but I couldn’t see all of them. The balloon chase was on. Heading to the next corner, I could clearly see the basket of passengers, waving enthusiastically. My eyes widened as it hovered too close to the power lines above the trees. I exhaled as it finally floated upward with the breeze. It was then I could see the full message on the balloon.
Brilliant gold letters, bold in their capitalization, on the scarlet background of the balloon, speaking to my soul:
            “DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD.”

Navy and yellow flags accessorized the full perimeter of the balloon, waving a royal salute to the neighborhoods below. More people streamed out of their homes, pointing to the sky. Phone cameras were out, capturing the view, a beautiful orb of promise and hope and life. 

Digging deeper helps me to be grounded in my reality but not tethered to it, like the hot air balloon. The glowing flame of the balloon gives it the fuel to fly. This spirit sparks in me, giving my soul its flight. My own tethering strings to God in prayer and the Bible guide my direction to safety.

I never saw where the balloon landed, but my soul, for a moment, found its grounding.