by Katie Smylie

June 26, 2019


We called grocery shopping an “adventure” when my oldest kids were toddlers. You just never quite knew what delights could be found, out and about on errands. One store gave them cookies, another a free banana. One very special adventuring store gave balloons to children shoppers. A bonafide helium balloon with a string–and they even got to pick the color. The clerk tied it to their wrists and it made schlepping for groceries with mom worth every minute. That is, until the day my son fumbled with the string and lost his precious balloon in the parking lot. In tears, we watched it float away. The joy of the moment slipped away–unreachable in a matter of seconds. 

As much as I tried, I could not convince him to take another balloon at that special store. Not that day, not really ever. “No thank you, Mommy.” He would not say why he didn’t want one, but I knew. The thought of losing another one was too much to bear. Something so exciting and fun, suddenly shadowed by the potential of seeing it slip through your fingers and float away. 

Raise your hand if you have opted out of a fun, joyful thing because of fear or insecurity. Maybe it’s a small thing like not wearing shorts in the summer or never singing in public. It could be that you are afraid to go to a new group because it is too much work to meet new friends. Perhaps you never share your faith because evangelism scares the daylights out of you. Some of you have been hurt so badly by the church and its people you never want to let your guard down again. There is just too much potential for hurt and sadness.

Jesus sees and understands why you are afraid. He knows how hard it is to put yourself out there. But He sees the potential for good in ways your fearful heart might have closed off. The Bible says Jesus is before all things and holds all things together. When we are racing from activity to activity wondering what it all means, He keeps our feet on the ground. When we feel our joy floating away, He is the force that pulls it back in–the gravity that keeps it all from being out of control. 

Can’t you just see Jesus in the parking lot with my son that day? Even now, I can picture Him tying one of those little weights on the end of the string, keeping the balloon close to the ground. “It’s okay, son, I can fix it. You don’t need to be afraid–it is my job to hold it all together.”

Katie Smylie would love to invite you to contemplate how Jesus “holds everything together” at the Women’s Night of Worship on July 5th at 7 p.m. in the Commons. Join us for music led by Christina Marandola, guest watercolor artist, Isabel Chavez, painting live, plus some opportunities for your own artistic expression or to be prayed for. No registration needed and no cost.