I woke up one day with heinous hair. It was a detonated bomb right there atop my head. Destruction, electric frizz sizzling, suddenly silver hairs that must have been coated in the ash of aftermath. Oh God, I swear I heard the faint groaning of victims. Relief efforts began. I washed and combed, plucked and sprayed. The worst affected areas required many woman hours and heavy-duty paste product. But with much destruction in the mirror I neared hopelessness.
And then, a hat.
A cap I hadn’t seen for years, the type of thing you forget you ever owned, laying bright and inexplicable across the closet’s floor. It was warm and an answer to primping prayers. It was red, a shade somewhere between crimson and Hallelujah.
Some months later I logged onto Facebook and barfed. A friend, I saw, had suffered a true trauma, a real loss that made my flimsy split-ended days seem that much more foolish. I hurt for her. Every fiber and bone and messy hair on my head, how I hurt for her.
Some weeks later I logged onto Facebook and clapped and cried. This same friend received the kind of good news that shines too bright for eyes. I wept and wept, still heart-broken but newly heart-warmed for her. How can such light follow all that heavy dark? I found myself clasping my mouth, hovering over the keyboard, saying “thank you, thank you, thank you”. Filled to the brim with gratitude for a gift gifted from the same mean universe who so cruelly stole from her. She found her Hallelujah Hat.
My darkest times are barely gray, sometimes even sunny yellow when compared to many people with much harder rows to hoe. But it struck me that despite the vastly different dark tunnel, the hard row, the plight, the loss, the various versions of badness we experience, the light at the end of [it] is constant.
With that in mind I’m excited to announce the Tiny Spark Series. Starting in December we’ll hear from several amazing folks about the effects of unexpected good.
During those moments in life so blacked-out and dark we can’t see a hand right in front of us, what happened/ when/ how did you know there was must be a candle and a match out there somewhere?
What flipped the switch and lit your life up to full blaze?
It is the great fortune of a hat just when your hair needs one, a random act of church attendance to hear a sermon you just so happened to desperately need, must have been spoken just for you. It is spotting the gleam of your wedding ring after the storm washed your home away, a smile from a stranger, or- at its simplest- just a thought in your head, a little spark of understanding that when it feels like the world is ending it. ain’t. over.
We’ll chat a little about death and birth and everything that slams us in between. The Jesus, faith, hope, mercy, babies, old ladies, and fish sticks are sure to come up. Because I was five and fish sticks really did make the world crumble around our modest dinner table and because we are constantly surprised by the answers we get to prayers we haven’t even prayed yet.
Let’s take this tiny spark and set off fireworks.
I would love to hear your stories, your dark clouds lined in unexpected silver. Over the next few weeks I hope you’ll take a minute to take part. There is no bad day too silly or too serious. In sharing, your story might be just the “sermon” an unsuspecting reader might desperately need to hear. What’s your hallelujah hat?
If you’d like to contribute to the Tiny Spark Series or know a friend/ relative/ human-living-life who has a little light to let shine, please e-mail me at
Posts will start December 3rd and run through the month!
Posts rules are simple and mostly non-existent. I ain’t the boss of grace, kids.
Send in your story within the next 3-4 weeks.
Feel the reader love.
“A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark.” – Dante Alighieri