We’ve had unseasonably cold weather for Florida. It drops into the low 30’s at night, which for someone raised in the Midwest shouldn’t be a big deal.

I’ve lived in hot and humid long enough that it’s a huge deal. Even for those who are visiting who come from cold and snowy climes, this is bone-chilling.

We’ve had to resort to indoor games. To finding outlets for fun more restricted by walls and home heat.

We’ve played all kinds of games. Celebrity is a favorite, where everyone comes up with a name and folks have to guess who is who. Dance competitions have become quite amusing–this old gal still has some moves.

But the one that had us all in stitches was an impromptu game of balloon bash.

It isn’t really a game, but it became one. John bought a huge bag of balloons, always a plus for the littles who love to bat them around. One night we blew up a bunch of the colorful transparent balls of air, tied them off, and the contest was on. 

Balloons were batted into the air, into one another, used as virtual pillows to smack folks with lightness, and bounced on by small bottoms.

Laughter filled the room; balloons give permission for fun, and as adults, we sometimes need that permission to cut loose and enjoy.

This went on for a while until a few of the balloons hit the fake garland or the tree and popped. Or a little bottom bounced too hard and the balloon broke. 

The sound was surprising. In the midst of the laughter, with the balloons blown as big as they were, the pop was a worthy sound effect. 

The adults recognized what was happening.

The littles didn’t. 

It didn’t diminish the fun, but it did remind me of the fragility of fun in a time when so much sadness and despair permeate all of life.

Life is prickly. Unmanageable and chaotic. Even when we think we’re on an upward trajectory, something can come along and burst our bubble.

Or our balloon.

We need to take the chance to enjoy one another and the small blessings we have each and every day. It’s easy to find fault in most of life; everyone is experiencing loss of some kind, some with grief and despair so great they can barely deal with it.

God knows our limits; He understands the tragedy this world presents us and seeks to come alongside us to bear our challenges and burdens with us. 

We don’t have to go it alone. 

Talking to God doesn’t take the words of a heady philosopher or the emotion of a verbose thespian. He knows our hearts fully; He longs for us to share with Him what we think and feel.

We can’t scare Him off, overwhelm Him with our intensity, or bother Him with our rough attitudes.

He knows us fully. And His invitation to engage Him in a relationship isn’t based on the niceness of our words.

We come to Him with the rawness of our hearts.

As prickly as life is, God holds His arms open wide to us.

Tender love.

No pricks involved.

 

 

 

 

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