Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So I write this following piece asking that if you read this you remember it is a very true story. None of the facts are altered or made up. I am writing for a few reasons. Number 1: It's after 1 in the morning. I know that if I go to sleep tomorrow (Tuesday) will be here even quicker. (That makes no sense, it's already Tuesday, but I'm referring to the Tuesday WORK day.) Number 2: I need to study and I'm procrastinating. I have a test on Saturday. The more I study, the more I know how much I don't know. The more I know how much I don't know, the more I worry bout my test- which I MUST pass. Therefore, I'm procrastinating. (That also makes no sense. I should study so I know more, but my mind is not working correctly- remember it's almost 1 in the morning!) Number 3- I like writing.

So, let's go back a few years. I was 14. I was a fashionable 8th grader. I wore my hair like a hippie with only the top portion pulled back. (I'm being sarcastic about the fashionable- continue reading and you will understand why.) I was also an excellent student. In my 8th grade Home EC class I was a genius. That year we had completed one of our top projects- a sweatshirt! I was proud of my sweatshirt so I wore it to school. (Um, for those of you who aren't getting the picture- this was not an attractive look.) In reality, I don't think it was pride that caused me to wear it- I just didn't know better. (For the record, it was a fine product.)

So, 8th grade year was coming to a close. I was sporting my hippie hair-do and my red handmade sweatshirt. It was a BIG day in Home EC- there was a lot of buzz because on that day we would be learning how to properly set a buffet table. (This is all true) We had already learned how to bake bread and make lasagna, so this was simply putting all the pieces together.

My group had the important job of decorating the buffet table. The checked gingham table cloth was spread out neatly and evenly along the table. There might have even been flowers. There were definitely candles. (Candles can definitely help to set a mood.) I was inspecting our table with a critical eye when I saw something- the candles were out of alignment. Yes, they were. They were uneven, and everyone knows that uneven candles can destroy a properly set buffet table. (I am making fun of myself here, because I am one that would worry about this sort of thing.) So, I reached over and moved the candle. But something was wrong. Very wrong.

My head was burning. There was a something very hot and bright and it was making a roaring noise near my ear. I don't think I really put it together at that moment, but I had leaned over another candle and my hair was on fire. Not just a little "pat pat" oh it's gone fire. A real smelly my hair was burning there were flames fire. I was bent over walking backwards trying to move away from the source of the pain- the heat. At that point (which I didn't find out until later) my teacher came over and pushed me down. She put out the fire with her hand. During that whole time I was yelling, "Jesus save me."

The story now is one that I can think of and laugh. Seeing it written down though seems very dramatic and it was. If you hear me tell it in person I can even act it out. That day though it was not so funny. That day it was something that only me, the mess of a girl, would do.

When I think of it now though I see God's grace. God chose to save me. He chose to protect me. I lost some hair- which grew back. I burned my eyelashes- which grew back. My head, where it should have been burned was not. No blisters. The doctor was shocked. I felt no pain. I had no reason to use the healing salve he gave me. I was already healed.

I see God's plans. I see how my plans are futile. They come and go with the blink of an eye. The moving of a candle isn't going to effect the universe, but God's plans... I see how what I want is meaningless and pointless. And then I see how God looks down on me every day and chooses to save. He saves me from myself when I make a disaster. When I say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. Go the wrong way. God saved me that day. He saves me every day. He has a purpose for me. I don't know what it is yet, but every day I am here, and I have the privilege of figuring it out.

I see God's peace. I know that we can look out into the world and see the tragedy and the disasters. I know that we can all throw our heads back and yell life's not fair. And it's not. And we can say, "Why?" and "Where are you God?" And in response there are not always answers. I know that there are things beyond my own understanding. BUT, I know that even though there are storms and there is chaos, there is a calmer of the storm, and if necessary, because storms will not be calm -that there is a peace.

Miscellaneous notes from that Day:
The conversation at my house that night entailed jokes about my traumatic experience- "You always wanted red hair, but flaming red hair?" That was my mother and my aunts. They thought the joke was hilarious. I was concerned because my eyelashes were stuck together and my hair had to be chopped off to my shoulders, and yet my mom refused to let me sit and sulk. She made me laugh despite of the situation because she knew I was OK.

Monday morning after the "stop,drop and roll" incident there were bunson burners in Science. Talk about trauma. I didn't start using candles until I was 24 (no lie- all truth) so the Bunson burner with the large flame shooting out of the top reminded me of my head from only 3 days prior. I sat as far away from that thing as possible.

The whole next week at school the dorky girl who leaned to far over the candle was very popular. Everyone came to me and asked to see my head. I showed it off proudly. The excitement wore off within a week, and I went back to being nameless, but it was fun while it lasted.

Lastly, I no longer spray my hair down big bangs each morning with an aerosol can of hairspray. Saving the environment? No- saving my hair! That stuff is flammable.


bean said...

LOL times 100! I remember you telling me this story in college.....it still makes me laugh my head off!

bean said...

how did your test go?

Anonymous said...

awwww the memories!!!!! mom