Please Keep Telling Your Story…

We had a great time in Colorado meeting with all kinds of people who are passionate about God’s mission in Malawi. While we were there, I had the chance to share this piece in person.

chitenges in a marketplace

everyone asks me why did you say yes to this?

You’ve never even been there.

And I say, because of a story

Because of a story on a blog

Because this world is a Facebook-Twitter-blogosphere

And we can share stories.

And this story, this story, is about a midwife.

Who, on her first day, bloodies her hands welcoming new life

Bloodies her hands binding up new mothers

And as she washes those hands she sees, on a shelf,

a row of brightly colored bundles,

chitenge-wrapped bundles

And she asks: what are those bundles?

Why, those are the babies who died today.

That one was born dead

That one had an infected cord

And that one–that one’s mother didn’t have enough to eat.

And my hands move to my own belly,

For as I read, I am eight months big-bellied,

And I have every good thing.

Every. Good. Thing.

With the food I need, yes, but also the food I crave.

The food that will make my child not only healthy, but also brilliant enough for Harvard.

Because a study says: more fish oil makes more intelligent babies!

And then my husband comes home.

I try to tell the story of the brightly colored bundles, but I can only say

why? Why do I have every good thing–more than enough Good Things?

But a different story tells me, Jesus loves me, and this I know,

And “who is my neighbor?”

She is my neighbor, she is my sister,

We are children of the same God.

And is God, not, in fact, closer to her?

For blessed are those who mourn–for God comforts them.

And so, when my husband says, did you see this door? It is marked ‘Malawi.’

I say, open it. Open it.

For God has brought us to this door by way of a story.

7 thoughts on “Please Keep Telling Your Story…

  1. I found Joanne’s blog ( on this site a while back. It was one of the most amazing things i’ve read in a long time; i read it like a novel. Thank you.

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