This post, unlike what I told you I was planning to write on Sunday night, is NOT random. It happened in the last two days and it's huge. I've been wanting to write about “Red Balloon Day” for a long time, THAT idea is in my jotbook, but to actually celebrate THE most needed red balloon of my life, is even bigger. I'm thinking you need some context.
There's a French short film called
about a lonely little boy who is followed around the city by a red balloon. It becomes his friend, they have adventures, and in the glorious end to the movie, I see a lot of symbolism.
More context: Back in the late 80s before the was the internet everywhere, there were some ways to connect online, so friends of mine and I participated in a forum abbreviated RATS. Rec.arts.tv.soaps. We all watched “As the World Turns.” In fact, I watched ATWT for 17 years but have since reformed...not that it was easy. It was like leaving a blogging community ~ friends made online that I never would have met before and we didn't just discuss the show because c'mon, it was a SOAP, but we got way into real life, too.
So speaking of real life. There was a a participant who was going through some tough times, and we were all encouraging him to forgive and just let it go. I suggested calling it, “Red Balloon Day” and he actually knew what movie I was talking about so we declared a day, and we all “let our balloons” ceremoniously into the air, letting go of past hurts, bad relationships, bad habits, you name it. We had quite the celebration and bonding encouraging each other over this.
I've known for quite a while that there was a grudge, a non-forgiveness I'd been holding onto for a long time. 3 years. But you might have noticed I'm a bit stubborn, and no amount of good Christian friends preaching forgiveness was going to deter me from my grudge. I'm not usually like that – stubborn yes, unforgiving, no.
Then a dear friend posted the parable of the unforgiving servant (found in Matthew 18:35) on her fb page...and stirred my thoughts.
You might recall it's Matthew I'm teaching on Thursdays this year...so it's yesterday morning that I come to that passage...and it clicks. Forgive. FORGIVE. We have been forgiven much, forgive others. And bawling my eyes out, I sent my balloon, with the company name, and the name of my former boss, up into the air for my own unexpected Red Balloon Day. It feels good.
P.S For the full story of why this was necessary, you could read “Abrupt U-Turn”