It’s a good thought for an election day. This morning, I read a chapter from my Bob Goff book about Walter, a guy who is the first face of hope when refugees step off the airplane here in the United States. You should read it. It’s really, really good.
Bob talks about how he takes balloons everywhere. He’s kinda known for balloons. Balloons are not my friend, however, especially if I am within touching distance. If they are on the other side of a big room, I love balloons. They are happiness with air. Balloons say, “You make me happy!”
Anyway, Bob joined Walter at the airport and brought balloons to greet the people who were arriving with nothing and needed some help and happiness.
He also said that sometimes he goes to a fast food joint and buys 20 hamburgers and goes around looking for hungry people. How cool is that. I want to be like Bob when I grow up.
Of course, Bob referenced Matthew 25:35-40, and he talked a lot about me. Because so many times, I drive past someone who is probably hungry or thirsty or sad or lonely or could use a new pair of shoes or a tank of gas, or just a little conversation…and I say a quick prayer and hope that the right person comes across their path to help them.
And these days, I listen to political pundits and hear the awfulness from people I know and love speak about “those Democrats” or “those Republicans” and I remain silent. That’s as bad as speaking the hateful words, isn’t it? Kind of like driving by “a situation” and hoping someone else stops to help.
I don’t understand how someone who lives a life under the umbrella of Jesus can spread hatred for a political party, so prevalent these days, and I don’t understand how some of my closest people can separate Jesus’ teaching to love everybody always when it comes to undocumented immigrants and homosexuals and those in an opposing political party…but I remain silent. Kind of like driving by “a situation” hoping someone else fixes the problems we have in this country.
In other words, I offer deflated balloons, not happiness.
I hope instead of help. I loathe instead of love. In this transformation of finding out who Rhonda really is during this chapter of life, God is uncovering some ugliness from down deep and revealing some cold, hard truth.
As my people spew distaste and disdain for opposing political parties and I sit in my silent distaste and disdain for them, the finger is pointed right back at me.
I thought I knew who I was. I am sometimes good, but I am sometimes in need of a lot of Jesus and a lot of grace. I have people in my life who turn my stomach for a whole batch of reasons, and I need some serious overhaul to extend grace and release judgment, to offer HELP instead of pious pity, to reach out with “balloons” and a hug rather than silence and inner contempt.
I am very grateful today for Bob Goff. God is using him in my life to uncover some ugliness that I thought was dead and gone.
And I am grateful for balloons.
As long as they stay wa-a-a-a-y over there.