This necklace has become part of my wardrobe on most days, especially on subbing days. It is a heart made by the blacksmith Michael Martin from a reclaimed and repurposed gun. He and Shane Claiborne did a recent tour that I was able to attend for their new book Beating Guns: Hope for People Weary of Violence https://www.beatingguns.com/. I wear it often to remind myself that God is a redeeming God who will bestow on they that mourn a crown of beauty instead of ashes, (Isaiah 61:3) that he specializes in bringing beauty from ashes. As I watch and listen to kids self sabotaging their lives, and others who just try to tread water between home life and school life, I remember there is hope and my job is to shine light and to show love, to let them in on a secret that they are of great value and their lives have meaning. I may not be able to rescue or fix, but I can shine a bit of light and be a faint aroma of hope even amongst the ashes.