Guess what happened today!
Okay, you probably already know because the title of this post is a complete spoiler alert…
but still, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TODAY! Today was the first of Maranda’s Park parties!
This meant waking up extra early, but I was excited and ready to go! After reading some devotions and gobbling down some of my favorite red berries cereal, I made my way over to the station. I met up with all of the interns, and we loaded up the vans and headed off to Lamar Park. We were like a traveling circus! Dressed in bright orange and traveling in 15 passenger white vehicles, we joked about resembling conflicts as we filed out of the vans.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with a park party, let me give you the low down…
THEY ARE AWESOME.
Maranda’s park parties bring fun, food, games, and prizes into a community for FREE.
When we first got to the park, some of the other interns and I filled up and tied colorful helium balloons as we sang and danced to Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus’ voices crooning through the stereo system. We had a blast dancing with a colorful array of balloon bouquets, and we got the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better.
After this, we got a free lunch from Subway, and got the ball rolling. Today I had the privilege of working with the show’s producer, Heather. I was a runner for Heather today, which meant running around and finding people Maranda needed to interview, or locating our cameramen. I had fun, got to help the team, AND got my cardio work out in for the day! It was like killing three birds with one stone (I don’t know why I used that expression, because I refuse to even kill flies, but hey, it works, so we’ll roll with it). I had a lot of fun, because it felt like a scavenger hunt! It was like I was on a team, and our job was to check a bunch of things off of a list to put together the show!
I had a lot of fun, and after the park party was over, Maranda took the team out for ice-cream. I had a lot of fun at the park party, but I also witnessed some things that hurt my heart.
At one point, when I was handing out balloons to the audience, my arms were scratched and my fingers cut as moms tore the tangled web of balloons from my hands. I saw a mother yell at and threaten to beat her young child for “talking to strangers” when I asked him his favorite part about the park party. It was hard to see some of the pain in the community, and I desperately wished I could change it. I wish I could have apologized to the little boy and told him I didn’t mean to get him in trouble. I wish I could have told his mother that I had only wanted to hear about what her family was enjoying about the park party because of the love in my heart, not because of animosity. I wish that people didn’t have so much fear of their surroundings that they would have to punish their children for saying hello to a friendly face….I really do. I wish balloons were not so much of a rarity that moms and kids fight and scratch for them.
I can wish all that I want, but here is what I know: God was present. God opened up my eyes to some beautiful people that I might not get to interact with on a daily basis. I got to talk to people who I might not see during my typical day; I got to see their eyes light up when they saw Maranda. I got to see parents beam as Maranda and all of the park party’s sponsors touched the community with their time, love, and generosity. I learned so much today, and I am so glad that I have a summer’s worth of park parties to look forward to.
1. I learned that the way I grew up is not the way everyone else grew up, so I cannot expect everyone to behave in a way that I am accustomed to
2. I have learned that it is important to remain patient and kind, looking like love even when I am caught off guard