Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Empty hands, warm hearts, full minds

I just wrote a blog for Imperfect Prose, then realised that it wasn't the story I wanted to tell here; the story I wanted to tell I wrote back in August. I know Imperfect Prose is full of prose: lots of good writing by dozens of amazing people, but still I find myself telling a third story here, and then linking you to the other two.

Yesterday, I met a group of ladies who live far, far away from their original homes. Some were even born here, but they know they're not from here. They look different, they sound different, and they have spent the last 20 or 30 years dreaming of going home. Now, they're preparing to move. Circumstances have changed and it's time to go. Home. Back where they are from, to a place that's completely foreign to them. They're excited, yes. But they don't remember it.

When we sat down with them, they pointed with pride to the alphabet on the wall - they have just learned to read! One lady came over and showed me some fabulous doilies that she made. Another put a tray of home-made cologne in front of me. Two women passed out sales-quality sweets. Then they took off their flimsy sandals and sat on the floor, humbly asking our advice even though it was clear their wisdom and practicality grew miles deeper than my own.

They're leaving. They know where they're going but they don't know how to get there. They don't know what to expect. And all they'll take with them is their street smarts and their ability to make things with their hands.

I think of their fears, and of their courage to stand up and walk into the abyss, with nothing in their hands but so much in their hearts and minds, and I am humbled.

This is the story of me, leaving things behind in all my wealth and comfort: Violins. And other things left behind

This is the story of a person whose life of loss continues to teach me: The Iraqi Violinist

And this is the link to the many wonderful stories of Imperfect Prose, hosted by my dear friend Emily: In The Hush of the Moon

12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

nice. off to chase the links...sounds like these ladies have quite a journey in front of them...

emily wierenga said...

oh, sister, i love how you paint the lives of those around you with such tenderness. keep telling these stories. i am learning from you. xo

Laura said...

tender, yes and filled with faith and wisdom...theirs, and yours.

Leslie said...

"their courage to stand up and walk into the abyss"

In a way, all our futures are an abyss. It is only through faith in One who has a loving plan for me that I have the courage to walk forward.

elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for the kind remarks over on my blog post about the cleaning lady. It's not about who we should notice...as in having to choose between her and the ministers and their wives...it's noticing both the cleaning lady, and the ministers and wives, who underneath their put together selves are crying out at well. Hope I explained my heart behind my piece a bit better.
Love to you,
Elizabeth
http://www.justfollowingjesus.com
ps...talked to the cleaning lady when I went back to the conference today. :)

TALON said...

Oh, so very humbling. And so beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing their story. I'm going to the other links now.

Sarah said...

I love how you love these women with your words, how you paint and portray them in a way that makes their hearts real to me. It's amazing and beautiful. Thank you!

alittlebitograce said...

i am loving these pieces of different places, different lives. by sharing your stories, you are helping me see the world differently, to understand the plight of the refugee just that bit better. thank you!

Connie Mace said...

captivated by the stories you tell, the people you touch...

imoomie said...

Thanks for taking away from my little corner of the world and opening my eyes, expanding my heart.

Linda said...

I think this is a beautiful picture of courage and trust. It is humbling to read their story.

Craig and Bethany said...

You've captured me with this story. Thanks for sharing it.

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