Saturday, August 8, 2009

Balloon Glow

Saturday evening, my family and I joined hundreds of others in an open field. Wet-headed kids with light-sabers, glow-necklaces, and plastic hot air balloons raced around their parents who rested, waiting in portable chairs.

Hot air balloons only dot the Baton Rouge sky once a year, so although attending the Balloon Glow meant braving the muggy heat and a day-long threat of rain, the sea was thick with short stubby legs, tiger-painted faces, and strollers.

As usual, my husband and father made a beeline to the carnival food booths. Wyatt was more interested in looking at than in eating a ginormous corn dog, while we adults eagerly consumed a unique Southern treat of alligator and shrimp on a stick. To top off this fantastically healthy meal, we settled for the traditional funnel cake instead of the fried Oreos. After sharing this powdered sugar concoction with all three children, I looked like I had developed a sudden case of leprosy.

As we ate and waited, the balloons slowly unfurled from the back of trailers. Short bursts of fire caused yards of billowing fabric to rapidly fill with air until each multi-colored balloon towered perpendicular to the ground.

Then, it was time.

The man on the stage counted down from ten, and at once, the darkened field filled with dozens of flames. The crowd cheered and clapped as each flame made the fabric globe above flash on and off like a monster-sized lightening bug or a flashlight speaking Morse code. Then the noise quieted as the flames ceased and we, once again, descended into darkness--you know, the kind of darkness where the entire neighborhood's power goes out and your eyes haven't adjusted yet, showing you just what true darkness is.

In the end, although the evening promised a "balloon glow," it was more of a "balloon flicker."

And it reminded of an old hymn, part of which says, "Set my soul afire, Lord, for the lost in sin, Give to me a passion as I seek to win; Help me not to falter never let me fail, Fill me with Thy Spirit, let Thy will prevail. Set my soul afire Lord, set my soul afire. Make my life a witness of Thy saving pow'r. Millions grope in darkness, waiting for Thy Word. Set my soul afire, Lord, set my soul afire!

This is my prayer. I don't want to flicker. I really want to glow for Jesus.


  1. I love the vivid pictures you paint in your posts!

    And me neither, Sister1

    I don't want to flicker!

  2. Hey Jennifer,

    Please stop by my blog to get a blog award I have for you if you will.

    Sarah C.