The Balloon Artist

Faith - The Ballon Lady

Lately, I have been trying to come up with unusual marketing ideas to help celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria. Last week, in addition to deciding that we would offer one entree each day for the next month at the original 1988 price, we made a decision to add Tuesday evening family nights – at least through the holiday season.

And I could tell you some of the other ideas that we have come up with, such as opening up a drive through window and a take-out section, but that would get me too far off the beaten track. The point is that I spent part of the week learning about entertainment; and the various things that restaurants and venues do to provide added attractions for their patrons.

Now Janet and I belong to Woodland Country Club, as social members, and we always enjoy the special holiday events the club puts on for children. We’ve gone to Halloween events with face painters, magicians, people who make all the balloon sculptures and even caricature artists. So my journey to figure out what to do at the cafeteria started out by asking Woodland who they worked with and how to engage those people. Laura, from the club office, was most helpful, and through a long chain of events, we ended up getting in touch with a booking agent who has assisted us with a calendar of events each Tuesday evening through the rest of the year.

I have never really hired clowns or other entertainment professionals before, but I got a crash course during the last week. It’s been kind of fun – people in the office ask you to help with something and you get to say, “Wait a minute… I’m busy hiring a clown.” And then everybody starts laughing and it makes the whole work environment a little more laid back – and with the pace everybody is working, that is really a positive step.

Back to the story – we decided to lead off this evening with a ballon “artist.” We heard about Faith and how popular she is at venues across the city. We were fortunate enough to be able to secure her for this evening – our initial foray into the field of cafeteria entertainment. I had been busy most of the afternoon and right before 5 pm, the office was notified that our balloon “artist” had arrived. Of course, we wanted to make sure that all the kids who had dinner with us could see her as soon as they sat down, so we set her up right in front. Sure enough, as soon as the families started coming in, Faith was inundated with requests for elaborate creations. There were fishing rods, and swords; and terribly complex animals. She was great with all the kids. And patient. No matter what somebody wanted, she was able to create it. In fact, for the entire evening, she filled every request that came it. It was amazing; and no two were the same. Every creation was unique.

She was even dressed up in a costume and went from table to table entertaining everyone. I saw several patrons provide tips for her in grateful appreciation for the creatures she was making for their children. And what a personality – really kid friendly.

And there, in the middle of the dining room, it occurred to me that in many ways Faith was to those children what God is to us. After all, God created each one of us and no two of us are exactly alike. And we can try until the end of time, but none of us will ever be able to duplicate the creations that God is capable of making. And beautiful creations they are. Each one of us has been created for something, or someone, special; and God has performed his work in us for some specific purpose.

As I am so fond of saying, each of us is here, at this time and place in history, to do something that has been destined for us by the Creator Himself. And by virtue of the fact that we are here, it is safe to say that the assignment each of us is charged with, is something that we can do better than anybody in eternity past or eternity future. And that’s pretty awesome! Not only us, but everything – the stars and the heavens and all the animals; and even the angels, God’s first created beings, even before we were created. As much as I appreciate the creations of Faith, the Balloon Artist, they pale in comparison to the creations of the God of the universe.

The verse tonight reflects His power, as we learn in Psalm 148:5, “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.” My encouragement this evening is that you were created for a purpose. Not only to worship and praise God, but to do some good work that only you can do. My prayer is that you will embrace that God given destiny and that the world will be a better place because you are in it!


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