London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji planned to propose to his sweetheart Leanne on March 14, 2008. He wanted to get the moment exactly right, but it went terribly wrong. He concealed a $12,000 ring in a helium balloon with a plan to give her a pin to pop the balloon as he popped the question. It seemed quite clever until a gust of wind took the balloon and the ring away as he left the balloon shop. He spent 2 hours chasing the balloon in his car without success.
Hajji later reflected, “I couldn’t believe it! I just watched as it went farther and farther into the air. I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me. . . But I had to tell her the story. She went absolutely mad. Now she is refusing to speak to me until I get her a new ring.”
Another engagement ring story came out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. On New Year’s Eve, policeman John Laux saw a woman with a flashlight in a parking lot outside a bar and grill. She had had an argument with her fiance and tossed the ring in the snow, but then couldn’t find it. He helped her search until he was dispatched to another call. No ring was found, but John returned to look several times as temperatures warmed and finally found the “ice” glistening in the snow. Now his problem is trying to find the owner who left no name. Police are holding the ring, hoping the owner will call and claim it with a good description.
Both incidents have the beautiful symbol of marital love separated from the lady for whom it was purchased. Surely both men had high hopes when they bought the rings for their brides-to-be, but now there is embarrassment, perhaps anger and shame. In the case of the balloon groom, I would suggest that in view of his girlfriend’s response, he should consider the cost of that ring a small fee for finding out he probably had chosen the wrong bride. To the Green Bay Packer fan (aren’t they all big fans up there?), good advice might be to wait until you’re inside before you throw a valuable ring.
In both cases, there is great disappointment. What should have been the source of great joy is gone. Smiles and laughter have been replaced by tears and anguish.
Has your hope ever vanished like that ring-bearing balloon? Worse, has your hope been tossed aside and lost by someone you loved? It makes you wonder where you can find genuine hope that won’t disappoint. Can anything or anyone in this world offer such hope? Paul wrote about our adoption as God’s children and the redemption of our bodies because of Christ. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:24-25) He also wrote about “endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 1:3) and prayed that Christians “may know the hope to which He has called you” (Ephesians 1:18).
May God help us know true hope in Him and His Son, no matter how the winds blow or how others respond. May He inspire us by this hope to endure in the face of losses. What Jesus has done for us at the cross is the basis for our hope. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
Article copyright (c) 2009 by Charles G. Mickey. All rights reserved.