Crazy Faith Moments

Crazy Faith Moments


Okay, people who know me best know I’m a little off kilter. I believe they like me this way. At least I hope they do.

So, here goes.

I have this weird agreement with God–Every time I see a Q-tip, I promise to share publicly through a blog post.

Well, not every time. Like when I see one in my bathroom or any other location you’d expect to see one, like the grocery store aisle–but when one appears in my vicinity in the unlikeliest of ways.

For example, on the morning of July 4th, I let the dogs outside for their morning ritual, and low and behold, two little white Q-tips lay in the middle of my fenced in back yard.

They first become relevant when entering my old neighborhood while on a run, listening to the lyrics, “I will walk 500 miles…” when on the ground I see one, and a voice overrides the music, asking,

“Are our ears too clogged to hear the beat of the unbeliever’s drum?”

What I’ve discovered since is an unbeliever is not necessarily singled to one who doesn’t believe in Jesus, but maybe also one who is struggling with unbelief in their faith walk.

Like the verse, “I believe, help me with my unbelief.”

The Q-tip transitioned into something more than the momentary reminder of unbelievers and drums and such. It became guidance, like a mini version of the cloud (God’s Presence) that guided the Israelites from place to place, while they wandered the desert. When the cloud moved, they moved. When it stayed, they stayed.

So one morning, while on a yet another run, I throw out an audacious prayer request. At the time, all I want is to shut the blog down. Honestly, I don’t care at all to write publicly in this capacity–I’d rather center on writing books. And the climate of the media says blogging is dead. So really, what’s the point?

But the internal pressure won’t release me from this. This is when I throw out the boldest of challenges, “God, if you want me to continue to blog, give me three Q-tips on my run.” Let’s be real here, I know this is more of me giving myself permission to quit, and the likelihood of this answer in this way is preposterous.

Within maybe ten seconds, a vehicle comes my way as I’m running against traffic. I see him approach the bend and swerve toward the white line. My immediate response has me off the shoulder and in the ditch–likely muttering unmentionable words under my breath.

I happen to look down, and see a Q-tip.

What in the world?

I take a few more steps, shocked by the first one–when low and behold: Another one.

I am blown away. The butterflies within are flapping their wings, causing the rush of adrenaline.

I make my way back to the shoulder and into a stride–when maybe ten steps in, I pass what I believe the stick to an already eaten sucker. My feet keep moving for a few more steps, until I force them to stop.

I turn around to see the dirty white thing…

It is a Q-tip with one end missing.

So, one would think I’d post all the time with such an answer as this? Nope. I did here and there. I even came up with grand writing ideas that never made their way to fruition, or stalled after initial effort. Every time the pressure to do so was in conflict with the desire not to follow through.

Until recently.

On a run one morning months ago, another question surfaces from within when I am hardly thinking of such things, “God, I’ll post every time you give me a Q-tip of the last entry in my journal.”

Yes, you know what happens next. A brand spanking new one is about thirty paces ahead, glowing at me with all her white fluff.

Most often the writing sticks to the last journal entry, unless there is a stirring to share something else–for example, the alcohol-free writings.

It helps take the wonder out of what to share, what another person needs to read, and my insecurity to compromise as I don’t like to be as vulnerable as one may think.

It can be days without one.  
Or, some days I see an abundance sprinkled out here and there–parking lots, streets, back yards, in the middle of the floor, under sinks in public bathrooms, etc.

I see one today and smile. Since there is nothing special in my journal to share, I feel it is time to let you into my craziness with the story behind the story of the little white Q-tip.


  1. Merlin Struble on September 23, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I pray that you are always seeing Q-Tips!

    • josiebarone on September 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Thank Merlin! Me too!

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