Broken to be fixed

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2004

Cancer or shyness couldn’t steal Quindell L. Hatton’s message to the world in a rhyme.

Standing less than five feet tall and from humble beginnings, God chose Q.L. (as she preferred to be called), a native of Chuckatuck, to share &uot;A Message in a Rhyme.&uot;

Once misunderstood by friends and family, and later diagnosed with a malignant cancer, God gave her words of hope, encouragement, and the love and admiration wrapped in a rhyme. She now shares these messages with the lonely and brokenhearted throughout the world.


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Q.L. has a story to tell. She was born the oldest of six children in Chuckatuck and by the time she was 16, she knew she was different from the other kids. Q.L. had a passion for writing that consumed her. She preferred writing to everything, including spending time with her friends and family members. When she began writing poetry, it seemed like an opportunity to spend more time with others by sharing her poems with them. However, just the opposite occurred. When she would share her poetry, people would look at her in a strange way and say that they didn’t understand her or her poems.

She can still recall the only person to embrace her uniqueness, Helen Tucker of Suffolk, her seventh grade teacher at Oakland Elementary School. Eventually Tucker’s husband, the Rev. Hawthorne I. Tucker, then pastor of Olive Branch Baptist Church, gave her the much needed attention and support she needed to believe in herself. The Tuckers nurtured Q.L. and her gift for writing. With their help she consistently excelled in report writing, public speaking and poetry.

Eventually, she got married and in time moved from her home town and the Tuckers continued to encourage her to continue to pursue her writing.

By the time Q.L. was in her 30s she had several bags full of tablets with poems she had written. She read her first poem that she wrote in 1987, &uot;Broken To Be Fixed&uot; for the first time in Sunday School. Once this poem was read, it was well-received, and that was all she wrote (no pun intended). Q.L. continued to passionately minister through her poetry at church, community events and with family.

But sometimes when it seems that things are going so well, a wrench can be thrown into the fire. Three years ago she was faced with a deadly disease, cancer, that threatened to end her ministry and her life and doctors asked her to brace herself for the worse. Soon, a surgery was scheduled and three fourths of the finger where the problem began was removed. Q.L. was elated to finally hear God say , &uot;I have healed you.&uot;

The nub that used to be her finger is now affectionately known to her and her family as &uot;Nubbett.&uot; Nubbett is a constant reminder of God’s grace and mercy. Instead of this affliction keeping her from her calling to write, she began to look for more opportunities to share, &uot;A Message in a Rhyme.&uot;

When conflict arose and American troops were to be sent to Saudi Arabia, Q.L. knew she had to do something and wrote faithfully to more than 400 of those who had been stationed on a local Navy ship just before it left for Saudi Arabia. She continues to write soldiers, using her own money to send care packages with snacks, poems and notes of encouragement even when she doesn’t always have the extra money for postage. The fruit of this labor has been manifested through the numerous letters of appreciation she receives from troops thanking her for sharing words that have helped them find strength and courage in a hostile land.

After receiving a call from a prison inmate, Q.L. also began writing inmates. One young man who began receiving letters and poetry from her didn’t want it and didn’t hesitate to tell her so. Drawing from her past experience and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Q.L. continued to write him regularly. After a few months, she received a letter she would never forget. This same man that had asked her to stop writing was apologizing and thanking her for not giving up on him. He admitted how angry he was at himself and the world. She continues to write him and many like him to this day.

Q.L., now an accomplished poet and a member of the Writer’s Guild in Norfolk, came from a modest past. Although she has had to move obstacles and meet many challenges over the years, she uses her gift to write, corresponds with 44 penitentiaries across the country and more than 2,000 inmates. She also continues to touch our troops around the world and currently exchanges letters and packages in places as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait, Alaska, and Afghanistan.

She could boast of her many poetry shows and seals from Queen Elizabeth, the late Princess Di, Margaret Thatcher, and five U.S. presidents, but she doesn’t boast at all.

Q. L. believes God has chosen her small gift to serve the hurting, brokenhearted with words of life, love, hope and encouragement that create&uot; A Message in a Rhyme.&uot;

For more information on Q.L. Hatton and her poetry, write P.O. Box 5283, Newport News, 23605 or email to Q.L. is also in constant need of pens, paper, envelopes and postage for the many letters she writes to troops. She would like to sow you into her ministry if you are blessed by her story.

Broken to be fixed

God created man in His own image

His dreams in Him would be unlimited.

His life would have nothing lacking,

All was given to him for the asking.

Man disobeyed his living God,

He found doing things without Him was hard.

His desires and all his feelings were mixed,

Now man had to be broken in order to be fixed.

As man wandered through the years,

He had endless nights of worries and tears.

Then one day a way was made that man’s heart would be pricked,

He would finally be broken and ready to be fixed.

Jesus gave His life that we would no longer stray,

Man should glorify Him for what He did that day.

Although all don’t accept the perfect gift,

A few must still be broken in order to be fixed.

Dailey we pray for those outside the precious blood,

He waits patiently with open arms of love.

We praise you Lord, we praise you for Satan one day you licked,

So that we were finally broken and with your sacrifice fixed.

– Q.L. Hatton

Evelyn Wall is a former News-Herald reporter and a regular columnist.