This Little Light of Mine

She is little.

Too little to know what she knows of the world.

The neglect of her parents. The failure of a system that is supposed to protect her.

Bruises that have healed from her skin, but remain in her heart.

She folds herself into a chair, pulling her knees close to her. Protection. Defense. Knobby-kneed line in the sand.

Her eyes are blank, refusing to give away any emotion.

I begin to draw on a blank piece of paper. Colorful swirls. Stick people.

She is watching me, but I do not meet her gaze.

I begin humming without even noticing.

She breaks her silence and it shatters like thin ice under a heavy footstep.

“What are you singing?”

I answer her, “a song called ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ I like to think everyone has light to share with the world.”

She is quiet for a moment, and then asks “do you think I have a light in me?”

I pause, and smile before I answer, “your light is so bright, I almost need sunglasses.”

She smiles quietly to herself and picks up a crayon.

We color and she hums along with me.

I am humbled by the moment – the moment where hope enters my office – as a small sliver of warm sunshine that chases away shadows and allows healing to begin.


This post is part of a Hope relay! As we celebrate the Olympics, Melanie Crutchfield had the fabulous idea to pass the torch of “Hope” around the blogging community. The idea being that she has asked some fabulous folks to write about Hope, and then we ask some more fabulous folks to write about Hope and before you know it, Hope is spreading around the blogging community! Melanie is going to compile all of the posts she can at the end of the Olympics and host her own version of the closing ceremonies.

I invite any and all of you to write on the topic of Hope, but I am officially passing the baton of Hope to Kenya of Here’s the Thing, Jennifer of Another Jennifer, Molly Jo of Frankly My Dear… and Gina of Namaste By Day. I hope that you will all choose to write your own stories of hope, because I gather a lot of hope from you all.

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17 Responses to This Little Light of Mine

  1. Robbie says:

    This is fantastic writing. The children you work with are so blessed to walk through your doors.
    Robbie recently posted..StuckMy Profile

  2. Awww. Thank Jenn. I’ll start brainstorming.

  3. Oh and that was SO beautiful!
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted..How to sustain a fit and healthy marriage…My Profile

  4. Molly Jo says:

    Your post is so heartwarming. And yes, I accept the challenge and will write of Hope.
    Molly Jo recently posted..Certificate of Completion: Wilton Basic Cake Decorating CourseMy Profile

  5. Melanie says:

    THIS is why I wanted you in the blog relay! Holy. Goodness. A thousand thank yous, Jenn—this one’s going to stay with me for a while.
    Melanie recently posted..Hope 2012: A Blog RelayMy Profile

  6. Wow. That just brought a tear to my eye. Beautiful story. I’m not sure I can top that, but I will see what I can come up with. Thanks!
    another jennifer recently posted..My Giving Pledge: July DonationMy Profile

  7. Pingback: Hope 2012: A Blog Relay « Melanie Crutchfield

  8. Becky says:

    Oh Jenn, this is beautiful. How blessed your clients are to have you walk with them on their journeys. And I know how blessed you, in turn, are to be there.
    Becky recently posted..The Cubicle ChroniclesMy Profile

  9. Jenny says:

    Jenn, this is beautiful. I teared up. I sing that song with my daughters all the time. You have such a gift of hope to share with the children you work with. They are blessed to have you.
    Jenny recently posted..Who Do You Speak For?My Profile

  10. KyFireWife says:

    Amazing post. And you do amazing work.
    KyFireWife recently posted..Routine ImmunizationsMy Profile

  11. Kristen says:

    Jenn, This is so beautiful. As the mom of two little girls I always try to show them their light. This little girl was fortunate to have you remind her of her light when others tried to pull her into darkness.

  12. Very sweet. What a blessing it must be to know that you are being a blessing to a precious one who needs so much to be blessed!
    Sylvia Phillips recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: The County Fair 2012My Profile

  13. Tricia says:

    This is a truly beautiful idea and, as always, I love your words. You have certainly captured hope here.
    Tricia recently posted..Growing Together: Preppy Girl in PinkMy Profile

  14. Such a great story. Hopefully that little girl’s internal bruises will heal and she will let her light shine in the world. We need all the lights we can get.
    Lynda Schrader recently posted..What Do I Blog?My Profile

  15. Just Jane says:

    So I’m sitting here reading this and bawling my eyes out when Lex comes in and says, “What’s wrong? Are you OK?” And I just nod.

    I was 33 before anyone thought to tell me something very similar. It was the best compliment I’ve ever received and I hold it here in my heart very closely guarded. I wish I’d known it back then.

    You have such an amazing gift…for helping children and for writing. Thank you.
    Just Jane recently posted..Red Cards of DEFCONMy Profile

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