Saturday, July 7, 2012

{Sparks and Clothes Pins}

When I was in Nashville for the Storyline conference, I had the privilege of hearing some fabulous speakers, including one of my character role models, Bob Goff, and Jamie Tworksowski, who started the non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms. This ministry is dedicated to helping people who struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. 

I love their vision statement: You were created to love and be loved.  You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story.  You need to know that your life matters.

Jamie sold surfing t-shirts before starting TWLOHA. But he met a girl one night struggling with cocaine addiction (she was also cutting herself) and he wanted to help. He also wanted to give her hope. He needed to raise money for her rehab, then more money to help others get treatment. Since he only knew t-shirts, he began selling those to raise money. It was the start of a bigger story that has reached far beyond one girl and a t-shirt.

I bought a t-shirt from Jamie at the conference. As I was looking at their website tonight, I am reminded at what great work one person can do. How a spark can spread wildly with greater intention and potential for hope than we can ever imagine. We only need to do one thing---begin with great passion.

A poem was posted on the TWLOHA website called "Shake the Dust" by Anis Majgoni. It's a powerful tribute to our ability to shake it off, move on, make our struggle worth something. I cried while watching it. I also wrote down the most powerful line.

"Grab this world by its clothes pins 
and shake it out, again and again, 
and jump on top and take it for a spine,
and when you hop off, shake it again."

Hear it for yourself, my friends. I hope it sparks something in you like it did in me.

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