It is amazing how sights or sounds can instantly take us back in time: a song on the radio flashes us back into the past, or we see something that transports us to another place in our mind.
Balloons did that to me recently when we used balloons at a number of social functions in our church. I walked into the room with gas-filled balloons high on strings and was immediately taken back to a book read to me when I was a small boy – The Red Balloon. A 1956 short movie with almost no dialogue, it contains strong Christian connotations as it tells of a Parisian boy who befriends a balloon which takes him on an amazing escapade across the city. Together they encounter adventures as people’s playful efforts to grab the floating, carefree balloon become grasping and destructive. Envious bullies hunt down and destroy the balloon on a hilltop. However, other balloons come to the boy and carry him away to escape and peace.
I remember having the story read to me as a boy and being amazed at the sight of this balloons carrying the boy across the city, wishing that I could do the same. In fact, when I first met Jesus, something more real than gas-filled balloons entered my life: the Son of God forgave the things in my life that weigh me down and I am free for eternity to go where He leads me, even to eventual peace with Him (John 3:16). Praise God for the love shown to us in Christ Jesus – something real lived out by faith.