Monday, July 11, 2016

Carol Jean's Page

Tale of the Tags


I was born in the heart and mind of a Christian lady. I was created around a kitchen table - paper, cardstock, paint, stamps, markers and a little ribbon. None of these very attractive or pretty - nothing you would pick up and want to keep.
It wasn't a comfortable process - here I was a clean piece of paper, then she covered me up with some sort of gooey stuff - I think the jar said gesso. I just know I didn't like it. Since I was wet and she wanted to keep working, she got out her hair dryer.
Now I don't have hair, but I felt all that heat. As I dried, I began to curl a little - she didn't like that - so she rolled me back and forth until I lay flat like she wanted.
Then she put bright paint all over me - again that heat. I lay very still except when the air moved me around. Then she began to glue things on me and stamp designs on me.
Then she punched (ouch!) a hole in me and tied a pretty ribbon and a sticker telling about me. You should have seen me when she finished.
I heard her say 'I wonder who God wants to have this?' I didn't understand what that meant. She stuck me in her purse - along with gum, gum wrappers, pencils, tissues, note pads, pennies and a nickel and off we went to her doctor's appointment.
Her purse was dark except when she needed something. Then when she thought no one was looking, she took me out and stuck me between the pages of a magazine.
All I remember of all those days is people flipping through the magazine, but no one took me out. Once I fell out and someone laid me on the table. It looked like a big room with lots of people and chairs - like they were waiting for something.
Then someone stuck me back in another magazine. But one day I fell out between two chairs. I guess no one noticed me. I kinda hung there until someone moved the chair around a bit and I fell to the floor under the chair. I lay there all day. People began to leave and the room got quiet. Then someone turned the lights out and I heard the door being locked.
Then the lights came on. I heard a vacuum; tables got dusted; chairs were moved and someone picked me up and put me in a pocket. After a long time and ride on a bus and a climb up some stairs, I was thrown in the dirty clothes hamper - still in the pocket.
Some time later, I was taken out and piled with all sorts of odds and ends on the dryer. That's good because otherwise I could have been thrown in the washer.
I lay there for a day or two. Then someone picked me up and began to notice what was written on me. HOPE and something about 'My hope is in you, Lord'. She turned me over and noticed a place to find out more about me. It said Drops of Faith Art and that I had been dropped (I guess you call my story a drop) just for her.
And it said
She took me into the computer and typed those letters in. And sure enough, it talked about Drops of Faith Art and it was dropped just to encourage people. She read more and learned about Jesus and how He came to save people. It told her all about it. I heard her say, "Mmm, interesting." Then she left me there by the computer and
went off to work. Someone else picked me up, turned me over, read what was written on me and also found out all about Faith Drops and Jesus.
When she came home from work, she came in to get me and her family began to discuss me and the things the computer had said about me and about Jesus.
And the lady who found me wrote to the lady who made me and told her thanks and how beautiful I am. The other lady just said,
"Oh I had wondered what happened to that drop' - it has been a couple of months since I left it. So glad you found it."


    I was made with a great deal of love and prayer.  I began as an ordinary piece of cardstock.  Well, that's not quite true - I was really a piece of trash - tossed away by an office worker who could not see anything useful about me.
    I was part of a very used file folder - written on and marked out several times.  But I was pulled from the waste basket and put in a box and forgotten.
    But one day all of us were pulled out and chopped into pieces.  But this time, I was clean and the dirty, marked-out parts were thrown away.  I was laid out on a table and smeared with white gesso something - dried with a hair dryer - turned over and the same thing done to my back side.
    When dry, I was painted a bright orange - dried with that hair dryer again, stamped with black ink, sprayed with something to make me sparkle and left to dry.  A flower was painted on me, then some words that said HOPE in great big letters, then a sticker that said "My hope is in you, Lord".
    I was stamped some more and put in a basket for days.  Then one day, that basket was put in the car along with yarn and a hole punch.  I don't know where we went, I think I heard the lake mentioned.  After a hole was punched in me and a pretty piece of yarn tied on, I was put back in the basket with a lot of other tags - except the one on top of me was fuzzy and made my nose itch.
    Days later, I and all the other tags were put in a big heavy envelope, taped up and sent to someplace called New Hampshire (is there an Old Hampshire?)  When that package was opened, I saw stacks and stacks of tags spread out on a table.  People looked at us and thought we looked great.  And we did - my orange was bright and cheerful.
    We were taken to this big meeting - outside - and it was hot.  There were lots of people and music.  People were walking around, looking at all the stuff.
    I was given to a lady who put me in her big dark purse.  I guess I must have gone to sleep because I don't remember how we got to her house.  She took me out and stuck me in her Bible as a bookmark.  And it was days before she opened me.
    But one day when I was laying on the night stand, I heard Christian music.  And she began to read her Bible often and I got moved from place to place.  I heard her tell people about how she got me and how she used me.  She began to hum the songs she listened to and sometimes I got taken to church with her.  I began to look a little dirty and wrinkled.  But I didn't care because I knew by the way she held me and read me that she loved me and my message about hope.


    Uh-oh! I'm part of a big mistake.  I didn't start out this way.  I was once a long strip meant for school classroom bulletin boards.  But because I am so colorful, I could brighten a prison cell.  I was cut up to be a book or Bible marker.  And I was rather plain compared to other tags the lady made - nothing glued on or a bright paint job could go into the prisons.
    But I did have a sticker that said, "Problems should always drive you to toward God, not away from him".  After I was drawn on with a marker, I looked pretty good.
    I was picked from a basket and put in a big envelope with Bible study lessons.  I was sent to Michigan but when I was taken from the envelope in the mail room, I heard these awful words - "Not allowed, send the whole thing back to whoever sent it."  I was taped shut and put in a bin.  I wondered what would happen to me, but I also wondered what would happen to the lessons. Would the person know they got all the way to Michigan, then sent back?
    When I got back to the Prison Ministry, I was again opened and people read about me not being allowed.  They could not believe that something like a book or Bible marker would not be welcomed.  They were allowed and wanted in all the other prisons.
    So they called and were told that anything "handmade" was not allowed in Michigan except at the women's' prison.  And nobody knew why!  It was just a rule. 
    So the lessons were sent off again with an apology and I was put in another envelope and sent where I would be allowed.  And irony of ironies - I was sent to the women's prison in Michigan!  I was afraid when they opened me in the mailroom.  But nothing was said and I was given to a lady who thought I was the most beautiful gift she had even been given.
    I was shown off - people wondered how they could get one - then lovingly placed in a Bible.  I was taken out two or three times every day when she read her Bible and touched with love.
    I guess Michigan is not so bad after all.


    I began on a table with a whole bunch like me.  We had all been cereal boxes and cut up.  One side of each of us had been sprayed with glue and covered with bright colored paper and the other side painted.
    We were all laying on a table waiting to dry.  I overheard someone say we were going to the state fair.  We had words and stripes, or flowers, or hearts painted on us - things like JOY, HOPE, PEACE, BELIEVE and a scripture glued down.  Some of us were sprayed with glitter and sparkly stuff.  Some of us had stuff rubbed on our edges.  Some of us (I was one of them) had a hole punched in one corner and some pretty string attached.  All of us had a label glued on to our back side that said "Faith Drops of Art"  We were banded together and put in a box labeled "Give away at state fair"
    Early one morning, we were taken out to a car and we drove a long time.  But we were left in the car; it began to get hot and we wondered.  But after awhile, our box was taken out and we were put on a table in a booth.
    We could hear the music from the rides and see the merry-go-round.  People began to come by  and we were given away one by one.  I was put down in the bottom of a big dark tote bag.  Gum wrappers, tissues, receipts, grocery lists and crumbs.  I stayed down in that stuff all day.
    After a long hot day, we climbed on a bus and we drove and drove and drove.  It got dark and at last, the bus pulled into a church parking lot and everyone got out and went to their own cars.  We drove some more - not as long this time.  They went into the house and I was left in the car.
    Sometime the next day, I was taken into the house and dumped out on the table.  I guess we were sorted - some to the trash and some to a box and me - well, I was left on the table.  I guess they never used that room for I was left all alone for days.
    One day, the light came on and I heard, "Gramms, what is this?'  Gramms said "Oh, just a bookmark I picked up at the fair" -  "What are you going to do with it" -  "I don't need it" -  "Can I have it?" -  "Sure"
    I was rubbed and looked at by the little girl.  She found a book on the bookshelf and put me in the front.  She began to read and when she got tired, she took me out and put me where she could find her place next time.  She read me, read my scripture, turned me over to see the bright colors and the little tag.  She called me her little love drop.


    I was once a cracker box - wanted when I was full but tossed in the trash when empty.  But someone pulled me out of the trash, cut me in pieces and I heard something about tags.
    I was painted front and back - sprayed with a cold something and told I was now sparkly.  After laying in a box for days and days, I was pulled out and words were written on me - "HOPE - my hope is in you, Lord".  A 'Drops of Faith Art" tag was glued to my back.  The lady prayed that this tag would be given to someone special and only the Lord knew who.  And I was put back in a box.
    One day the box I was in and a lot of other boxes were opened and we were sorted - some of us for men, some for ladies, some for children and some special ones for veterans.  We were neatly stored in a file drawer and I heard talk about a fair with music.
    One day we were loaded up - file cabinet and all and taken to this park.  Some of us were put in baskets and on tables; some of us stayed in the file drawer. We could hear the music and a lot of people talking.
    Finally, I was taken out and put in a basket on a table.  Several people picked me up and put me back down.  Late in the day, a group of nurses came by.  They had just gotten off work and stopped by before going home.
    I was quickly picked up and I heard her say, "I know who needs this."  They looked for others like me and each one chose one that said HOPE.  I was put in a tote bag and taken home.
    The next day I went to work with the lady.  It was a big busy hospital.  She worked in a place where people were very sick and were waiting for a kidney transplant because their kidneys were not working.
    I was taken to a room where the lady was very ill and heard them say that if she doesn't get a kidney very soon, she will die.  Her family was there and they were very sad.
    When 'my nurse' did all the things she was supposed to do, she said, "Nikki, I have something for you".  Nikki looked at her and wondered what it could be - another pill - another shot - another pillow.
    'My nurse' said, "Yesterday I saw something that might help you as you wait.  This is a tag made by someone far away just for you.  Many people have prayed that each tag would go to the person the Lord knew needed it.  And I believe this tag was meant just for you."
    The family gathered around to better see.  They read, "HOPE - my only hope is in you Lord".  They cried because they knew how true that was.  But also because someone they did not know and who didn't know them and their need would make a tag and send it across the country just for them.
    Nikki often held that tag as she waited.  And one day, 'my nurse' was able to tell her they had found a matching kidney and she would have surgery as soon as possible.
    And when Nikki went home healthy and well, she put me on her bathroom mirror as a daily reminder that for all of us our hope is in the Lord.


    Would you believe I began as a donut box - red on one side, white on the other.  I lived in a shop where people spoke Cambodian - until I was filled with donuts and taken to a church where everyone was very glad to see me.  When I was empty, I was tossed out.  But I was carefully washed where the sugar had stuck to me, cut up in pieces for later use.  Some man trimmed my sharp corners and I looked good - except for the parts of the writing on my red side.
    A pretty purple something (oh, it was cold) was sprayed on my white side, then something gold and sparkly.  But someone put some glue all over my red side and put a piece of paper - I think it was from a Bible - on me.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think I felt better after that.  And I did look good.  But I was not finished - on my scripture side, something was glued down.  It said, "God's Word - Read It - Love It - Live It" and a pretty butterfly was glued on.  After the tag about Faith Drops of Art was glued on, I was finally finished and banded together with others like me and put in a basket.
     We were packed in a box and taken to the post office.  After a plane ride and a ride in a postal truck, our box was put down outside an apartment door.  The box was picked up and put in a corner and I heard someone say, "That will have to wait until after supper."
    Then the box was opened and we were all dumped out on the table.
"How cute" - "some little girl will love this one" -" oh, look at the butterfly" when they saw me.  We were put back in the box and put in a closet.  I heard the words Hopefest and August.
    Then one day all the boxes were pulled out. We were sorted and taken to a big outdoor place.  Some of us were put in baskets, others on the tables.  People came by, looked us over and chose one (just one the sign said).  I was quickly chosen, but then laid down when the lady saw something she liked better.
    Finally I was picked up by a lady who was on a walker.  She put me in her husband's shirt pocket.  We heard music and saw lots and lots of people.  I was taken home, the shirt hung on a hanger, and forgotten.
    Several days later the shirt I was in was put on and we went to the grocery store.  The lady put her grocery list in with me.  Up and down the aisles we went.  When we got to the checkout, the lady pulled her list (I guess, to see what she might have forgotten) and me out of her husband's pocket - except I fell to the floor.  The man and woman left and I was still on the floor.  Someone picked me up, looked at me and laid me on the counter.
    All day people passed by, looked at me and put me back down again.  Near closing time, the cashier began to clean up her space.  She noticed me and put me near her cash register.  At the end of the day, the doors were locked and the cleaning crew began to clean the store.  Everything was dusted, swept and mopped.
    The next day, the cashier seemed happy to see me.  She picked me up and read me again.  Several times during the day, she looked at me with a strange look in her eyes.
    Near the end of the day, a very tired looking lady with three small children came through her line.  I guess she had just enough money for bread and milk because she told the kids they couldn't get anything else.
    After the lady paid, the cashier gave her the receipt and also handed me to her.  The lady looked at her and at me and began to get tears in her eyes.  She smiled thank you and left.
    We walked to her house which has near-by.  When she got home, she made the kids a sandwich and put them down for a nap.  She sat in a chair staring at me.  Remember it said, "God's Word - Read It - Love It - Live It",  She began to cry, reached over to get her Bible and began to read.  I think it was Psalms.  After a bit, she said a prayer, thanking God for the reminder about the Bible, kissed my butterfly and put me there to mark her place.
    I just knew she plans to use me often.

    Do you know what allergies are?  It's when people sneeze, their noses run and their eyes water.  And they are miserable.  Until they take medicine - and that's where I came from.  Yes, an allergy medicine box.  The inside of me was white, so I was cut up and put in a box.
    One day a bunch of us were laid out on a table and given a coat of paint on our 'not white' side.  We were all bright and cheerful - I was a bright reddish-orange.
    The phone rang and the lady who painted me left in a hurry - some of us were not even painted.  It was several days before she came back to finish us.  I heard her tell someone on the phone that making tags was therapy and she could do that and pray at the same time.  It seemed her husband was in the hospital and was seriously ill.  He was in something called ICU and she could not stay with him at night.
    I think she must have worked on us all night.  Some of us said 'Hope in the Lord'; others said something about joy in our heart and I said, 'Cast all your cares on the Lord, because He cares for you.'
    Without finishing, she went to bed and then back to the hospital.  We didn't see her for several days.  Her husband had been moved to a room and she was able to stay with him.
    One day when she came home to shower and change clothes, she took a small bag of art supplies and a handful of us back to the hospital.  She worked on us and put us on the window sill to dry.  She put a tag about Drops of Faith Art on us and made a stack.  Often the nurses and other hospital workers watched her work on us and thought we looked pretty.  Sometimes she would give one of us away. 
    When they cleaned her husband's room or took him for therapy, she would go to the waiting room.  Every time, she saw this one lady sitting quietly in the corner.  They had smiled and nodded to each other but had not talked.  And one day, she sat down beside her and told her she wanted to give her something.  And she handed me to her and she read, 'Cast all your cares on the Lord because He cares for you.'
    She began to cry and said she knows that is true.  But her dad had come to visit her from Mexico and had an accident and was in the hospital.  He didn't speak English so the daughter stayed to help the hospital people know what he was saying.
    After praying with the lady, 'my lady' went back to her husband's room and got our her art supplies.  She had not yet put words on all the cards.  She wrote 'Dios te ama' - Spanish for God is love and put it on the window sill to dry.  When dry, she took it to the lady to share with her dad.
    When they went home from the hospital, I was put in the lady's purse along with the tag in Spanish.  When her dad was well enough to travel, she took him home.  Everybody was so glad to see him and told him how much they had prayed for him.
    He showed them the card with the words in Spanish and they wanted to know all about it.  The lady showed me and told them about the scripture.
    The man's granddaughter taught an art class at her church and she thought - 'that's something we can do'.  So she gathered some boxes, cards, art supplies and me and took us to the church.
    She explained the tag in English and the one in Spanish and asked if they would like to make some to pass out to their friends and neighbors.
    That's how I would up in Mexico and became a sample for people to make tags in Spanish.


    I was an actual store-bought blank bookmark.  I don't have the kind of stories some tags have - cracker or cereal boxes and trashed file folders.  Just a plain white boring blank bookmark.
    But I was in a bag of paper scraps at a flea market.  So, since it was a bargain, I was taken home, sorted and put in with those tags with more interesting backgrounds.
    Then we were all put on a big table and painted and sprayed with glittery shiny stuff.  After we were dry, we were stamped with the picture of a lady with her eyes closed. A lady put a saying on us - mine said, 'God has a solution before you know you have a problem'.  Sounded kinda strange.  She put a label on the back about Drops of Faith Art and a place to look up for more information.  Then we were banded together and put in a box in the closet.
    After a long time we were given to a lady who was making little gift bags for a home for abused women.  I was put in a bag with chapstick, a small package of tissues, lotion, lip gloss, hard candies, peanut butter and crackers, cookies, note cards and a pretty pencil and some pink fuzzy socks.
    We were again put in a box in the closet until one day the lady took us to the home for abused women.  The lady in charge was so glad to have something to give these ladies who needed someone to tell them God loves them and they were prayed for.  Many of them had to leave their homes in the middle of the night.  The home provided them clothes and the things they needed.  Some had jobs and the home provided a way to get to work.
    We were put on a shelf in a closet and when a new woman come, a gift bag was given to her.  My bag was given to a very young lady who seemed to cry all the time.  She just wanted to stay in her bed in a dark room.  They called it depression.  She didn't pay any attention to me, just put  the bag on her nightstand.
    She didn't like to go to the dining room; she didn't like to be with people.  I think she thought she was the only one with problems and she was ashamed.
    One night she was hungry and opened the bag and ate the peanut butter and crackers.  As she was eating, she dumped everything in the bag out - except me.  I guess my corner caught and I stayed in the bag.
    After looking everything over, using the lotion, she began to put everything back in the bag.  And she noticed me.  She took me out, read me and began to cry again. 'God has the solution before you know you have a problem.'  As she thought about that, she realized that God knew all about her and loves her.
    She turned me over and read about where to get more information. She washed her face, brushed her hair and went down to the big living room where the computer was kept.  She looked up about Drops of Faith Art and how ladies made these tags and prayed for just the right person to get each one.  As she continued to read, she learned that God loved her so much He gave His Son to save her.
    She went to the apartment of the lady who lived there and talked to her.  She gave her heart and life to Jesus. 
    And to think - it all began when she read my tag and knew she was loved and cared for.



    I began as a bright piece of glitter cardstock.  There were dozens like us - pink, purple, teal, lime green - colors girls would like.  I was pink.
    The ladies at the church were making us for some special girls - girls whose dads were in prison.  There was a place where families could stay when they came to visit someone in prison.  It was called a Hospitality House.  Our tags would be given to the people in charge there and given to the girls who came to see their dads.
    I was such a bright pink I didn't need painting.  A lady wrote on me with a special glitter pen.  She wrote 'Trust in the Lord' in white.  Then she outlined it in a sparkly silver paint.  She put silver glitter all around my edges and a large pink jewel near the top.  My, I did look good!
    On the back side she put the Drops of Faith Art tag and another little sticker that said, 'God loves you and your dad too.'  Then we were all put out on a table.  We looked so pretty and so different.  Our verses and decorations were all different.  Each one of us was special for a special little girl.
    A lady prayed - thanking God for the opportunity to make us and for the girls who would get us.  She prayed that each one would go to the girl who needed that special verse.
    We were put in an envelope and sent to the Hospitality House.  When the lady opened the envelope she was surprised - not at us for she knew we were coming.  But at how pretty and different we were.
    She got the rooms ready for the families and put us in a pretty basket at the check-in desk. She also prayed for us and the girls who would get us.
    On Friday afternoon, the families began to arrive.  Saturday was visiting day.  The first families that came had babies or boys (The boys had a special basket too).
    Then a mother with 2 little girls came.  One was too small for a tag.  The lady who checked them in asked the little girl her name - she was Ashley and eight years old.  She was holding a pillow and a teddy bear.  The lady said, "Ashley, do you like to read?"  Ashley shyly nodded her head.  The lady said, "Ashley, some ladies at a church made some bookmarks - would you like to choose one?"  I was on top - she picked me up - didn't even look at the others and said, "Thank you and thank those ladies."
    They went to their room and put their things away.  Ashley put me in a book and they went to the big kitchen to get supper ready.  Every family brought their own food and prepared their own meal.  It was a big room with 3 stoves, 3 fridges and lots of tables and chairs.
    Ashley and her family ate and washed their dishes.  They spoke to the other families.  Everyone was tired from traveling a long distance and ready for a bath and bed.
    After her bath, Ashley got her book and looked at the bookmark.  She read the verses and ran her fingers over the glitter and jewel.  She turned me over and read the two stickers - especially the one about God loving her and loving her dad.  She ran to her mom; her mom began to cry and she said we know God loves each one of us and we need to be sure to tell her dad.

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