HATS IN MY MEMORY — an introduction, part I.
Three hats hang in my house, two more in my memory: a tattered blue and white striped engineer’s hat, a wide-brimmed straw hat crumbling from years of wear, a billed John Deere cap spattered with oil, a Kansas City policeman’s uniform hat, and a durable floppy Tilley needing the washing machine. Another head-covering adds a touch of softness to the mix, my grandmother’s handstitched bonnet.
I call these my “grandpa hats.” (Well, all but one!) My two grandfathers wore the engineer’s cap and the straw hat while working on their farms. My father and father-in-law wore the tractor cap and policeman’s hat while supporting their families. My husband, “Papa” to our grandchildren, just donned the Tilley and headed out to mow.
Why are these hats important? Well, for me, they represent much more than a chore to be completed or a career. They each represent the grandpa who combined hard work, love, laughter, family, and faith. They epitomize the uniqueness and special personality of each person. I hope you enjoy meeting my loved ones through their hats.
You’d be hard-pressed to find the words “hat” or “cap” in the Bible. On the other hand, a “helmet” is common. Helmets were weapons of protection. I love the account of young David in I Samuel 17. Moved by God’s boldness, David offers his service to Saul and Saul promptly dresses David for the task at hand: his own garments, a bronze helmet, and body armour. David tries to walk. Impossible. This attire was simply not David! He takes off the king’s clothing. He removes the helmet of protection. He arms himself with a stick, five smooth stones, a pouch, a sling, his shepherd’s bag and God’s power. God’s protection. He boldly moves forward and does God’s business. He slays Goliath. God’s receives the glory.
A simple scarf draped over the head in humility. A king’s crown of leadership. A crown of thorns. So many hats. So many possibilities and purposes. As you read in subsequent “Hat Stories,” consider what hats you are called to wear in life. Are you trying to wear, like David was encouraged to do, a hat that just isn’t quite “you?” In what ways do your chosen hats reflect you? What memories are you leaving behind?