It’s the season for flying kites! At least, when I was a child it was—with September’s sunny days and gusty winds. But when I think about it, I hardly ever see kids flying kites anymore.
One time, though, my brother arrived home with a kite for his son, Carl. Carl and his many cousins were all excited because they knew it was a game they could play together.
The kite sometimes flew high and sometimes low. If the wind died down, the kite just dropped down on the ground. My nieces and nephews picked it up, made sure that it was still in good condition, and flew it again. One or two of them held the rope and the rest shouted and cheered encouragingly. Together, they ran towards where the kite would fly.
As I watched the chaotic, joyful scene, I thought, ‘The kite must be happy flying with ease and free in the sky’.
But after a while, I heard my nieces and nephews shouting, ‘Oh no! Oh no!’ The rope that connected the kite to the kids below had snapped off. The kite was out of control—it flew further away and finally crashed. It took a while for us to search for and locate the kite. In the end we found it, a little bit broken but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.
I imagine us being the kite. We all want our freedom and are proud of our self-reliance. But just like the kite, unless we keep our connection with families, friends or people, we will fly to nowhere and without a purpose.
In contrast, imagine being like a kite that is still connected to people on the ground—with a strong rope that binds us together. When the wind is down, and bringing us down as well, there will be people to support and encourage us. And if the wind brings us high up in the sky, our friends and family will shout and cheer for us. If the wind is too strong and brings us out of control, rest assured there will be people that help keep us grounded. And wherever we fly, there are people running with us.
There are a few challenges that prevent me from keeping in touch with family and friends overseas: time, weather and health have been the biggest culprits. Social media has a bad reputation for ‘disconnecting’ people, but it can also be a platform for us to connect to others: a friend messaged me through Facebook and asked me how I was doing before asking me to catch up; an announcement on a Facebook page encouraged me to join in with church activities. These connections create a sense of belonging within me.
I’m glad that my nieces and nephews found their kite when it snapped and got disconnected from them. In life, so many kites just fly to nowhere, never to be found again. When we are bound together, that is when we can truly fly free.
By Mariana Yapp (c) (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 22 September 2018, p3 - You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.