The Topknot and the Tackle Box

tackle box 1


A Parable of the Open Hand

Once upon a time, a woman kept her cosmetics in a tackle box. A train case seemed boldly self-indulgent. No, a good, sturdy tackle box was just the thing.

It had taken seven years of healing for her to dare to dream again of beauty.  The tackle box, somehow, eased her way as she backed into loving herself, helped her coast into celebrating her femininity.

She’d returned to lipstick, made peace with mascara, grown her hair until it fell in reckless waves over her shoulders. She didn’t understand why she did these things until later–but no matter.

It was a Friday morning. She’d gathered her hair into a high, high ponytail, wrapped it around itself, and held the bun together with one hand as she reached into the tackle box for an elastic.

Suddenly the tiers of the tray collapsed in on themselves, trapping her hand somewhere between the pressed powder and the eyeliner. 

In order to free herself, she would have to let go of the bun she’d so carefully coiled.

Some days, she was tempted to fold in on herself all over again. 

Instead, she called for help. Her dear husband, long-suffering and loyal, came to the woman’s rescue, lifting the tiers of trays off her hand, freeing her.

Why didn’t you let go of the bun? he asked as she rubbed her knuckles.

Because I didn’t want to give up again, she told him. And sometimes you can be Jesus with skin on right in your own bathroom. 

4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces willnever be ashamed.

Psalm 34:4-5 (NASB)


  1. LOVE this, Sheila. And that passage from Psalms? It’s one of my life verses. xoxox

  2. xoxoxoxo

  3. Now, I want a tackle box…. 🙂

    Love this

  4. Needed this one today. Thank you.

  5. Love this, Sheila. A lot. And I’m with you on the topknot – once you’ve got it, you don’t wanna lose it. And good husbands can come to the rescue, too. Which is always a plus. :>)

  6. This is so poignant Sheila. I understand these feelings – especially as the aging process leaves its marks. But what a sweet husband. Oh how we need Jesus with skin on.
    I can hardly bear thinking of you all so close by at Laity. I’ll have to try for next year.

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