the green balloon


Once upon a time there was a girl who needed a place to stay.  She was separated from her husband and during the times when he was with the kids they decided he would stay at their house with them so as not to disturb their existence too terribly much.  So a few days a week she went to a friend’s house.  A very close friend mind you, but in the beginning that was pretty much all she was.  Her friend’s husband was around too, but that’s a story for another time.  So this girl was mostly heartbroken and scared and so she talked to God and listened to Him more than she ever had in her life, and that was good.  She studied and wrote and contemplated and was still before Him, and that was good too.  All of this started to change the girl and the way she thought and the way she saw the world and people, and that was good too, but that is all a story for another time as well. 

           This girl and her friend talked and were quiet together.  They had meals and cleaned up together.  They discussed at length issues big and small.  Of course you know, they laughed and cried together.  And so their friendship turned into something more.  And as they became closer this girl began to see her friend, this woman/mentor/mother figure more clearly.  And where she once saw someone who was funny, edgey and a little guarded- she started to see someone who was tender, sweet and open.   Whether it was only her perception or reality that changed, I’m not sure, but something shifted nonetheless.

          One day while the girl was at her own home praying for her friend, she heard from God more clearly than most times she heard from God.  And so she got out a pen and madly scribbled out everything she heard.  Looking back over her pages she decided they were not at all legible and would need to be typed.  And so she typed them.  And then she attempted to print them, but this girl does not always cover all the details and so she was out of black ink.  She printed them in green instead, just because. 


           The next week when she went to her friends house she had decided that these words were silly, too much, too little, unnecessary.  So she folded them up and stuffed them in her bag.  She told God that He would have to be even clearer if she was to do anything with those papers, those words, that love He poured out.  It was maybe a foolish way to speak to God, a childish way to react to such a profound gift, but sometimes our girl was foolish and childish in her interactions with God.  Lucky for her, He is still Himself and ever full of love and grace. 

Before coming out to the table one morning, the girl took the papers out of her bag looked them over and stuffed them back in again.  “Ha, you will have to give me an actual physical sign if you don’t want these in the trash.  She doesn’t want or need to hear these things.”   This was (and unfortunately sometimes still is) the sarcastic tone she used with her Father.  Back in the bag, folded a little more haphazardly the papers went.  011 

So this girl and her more-than-friend sat at the breakfast table looking out this beautiful window, sipping coffee and quietly waking up.  And then the more-than-friend said “Huh”.  “What?” replied the girl, because in this house “huh” means a million things and it is never nothing.  “That’s funny” said the more-than-friend, “There is a green balloon floating around right outside the window.”  And there was.  A half full of helium little green balloon drifting to and fro, hovering here and there right outside the window.  The girl smiled and laughed a little because how many times in her life has a balloon appeared out of nowhere and mocked her at the breakfast table?  None, that’s how many.  And then she got up from the table.  “I think maybe I am supposed to give you something.” She said to her more-than-friend who looked a little confused.  “I sort of got this word for you and was reluctant to give it to you so I told God to be clear or I was trashing it and well, you see, when I went to print the pages I was out of black ink and so-“  The confused look on the more-than-friends face changed “And so you printed it in green didn’t you?”  the girl smiled and “Well, yeah, and then-“

And then the green balloon. 


7 Responses to “the green balloon”

  1. You have an amazing life. 🙂

  2. I love this story. And I love how God speaks in so many colorful ways. So glad you are His.

  3. Wow…that seems like a million years ago.

  4. Amber, you are such a wonderful writer! I was enthralled the entire story. You have a way with words that is captivating. Good job!

  5. I visualized this story from the very first words. You are such an awesome writer, storyteller, human!

  6. ellie & morethanfriend- i so agree.
    crista- me too
    april and crysta- thank you!!!


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