When that one boy left the barn
and the farm,
and his mucked up rubber boots,
and flew to Haiti,
I never gave a thought to the strings.
Of a mother’s apron strings or the tenacious sinews of the Body.
Or of the six degrees of separation that really means we are all knotted together at our wrenched limping hips — and every single woman is your neighbor, only inches from your face.
We are all tied close and we are all bound and we are all strung up and strung together and strung tight.
Hope has a hen in the orchard and a bag slung over her shoulder, stitched together by Haitian women whose legs were cut off when the earth cracked gaping open and the sky and roofs came falling down.
That oldest boy of ours, Caleb, he came back to the farm with the dust from Haiti deep in his pores.
And I’ve got a photo of Hulda on side of the fridge.
Hulda from Haiti, glory radiant, the daughter of a preacher who chose her name well, Hulda walking the streets of Port Au Prince like a prophetess, a Compassion Leadership Development Student who we are putting through university.
Hulda who reached over on a hot day last July and grabbed my hand like she needed something to hold on to, to steady her, when she told me that everything shook and the house fell in and she dug through the rubble with her bare hands, scared to find her mother dead.
But her mother’s heart beat.
It only took 3 months before they cut off both of her feet.
Hulda looked at the floor when she told me that.
I’d squeezed her hand and pulled her close and she’d wept like a daughter on my shoulder, that one braided strand of hers touching my cheek.
And I sweep strands off Hope’s face with these twisted cords wound by women from Haiti.
And Haitian sisters who wear prosthetics, they cut out the fabric and sewed the pieces together that made the bag that holds the pig that Shalom cups in the orchard on the farm and I feel the strings.
I feel the strings that can’t ever be cut, of the Body that’s bound together by these grace veins pulsing with the one blood of the One Who let His and we are bound because we are free.
I feel it like a lifeline for the Body: When you are born again into the Kingdom of God, how can you ever again forget your kin? Part of the solution to poverty is doing whatever it takes to get your heart to stay with the poor.
There may be miles between the rich and the poor, but how can there be distance in the family of God?
A house divided against itself can’t stand and a Body that amputates off the messy & poor & imperfect falls hard too.
And Hope pulls eggs out of the bag made by Denise.
And sisters have names.
And sisters have stories and smiles and art and dreams and hopes and sisters carry each other and every time we take up our cross — we take weight off someone else.
And women help women, limping sisters, walk surer, straighter, hope-filled toward Home.
And two sisters stand in an orchard, a three cord strand of sisterhood braiding a Body to Father.
“Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.…
A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken.”
From 3 Cords & our sisters in Haiti (loveliest gifts and a way to keep our heart with our kin ):
“When the massive earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, it killed an estimated 300,000 Haitians, and thousands that did survive had to have one or both legs amputated, as they were crushed underneath falling buildings.
This story is about these survivors.
It’s about women that lived for 3 days under a flattened two-story building. It’s about women that waited over a week after being rescued to actually see a doctor, due to the scarcity of doctors and the overwhelming amount of patients. It’s about women who sang their hearts out when they finally received prosthetic limbs.
But though these women now had legs, no one would hire them because of their physical disability.
Thus, in September of 2010, 3 Cords was born. Women were hired- amputees. Women threw arms up in the air with the toothiest of grins, shouting, “I can work again! I can work again! Hallelujah!!!” They laughed and cried and jumped up and down, expressions of HOPE lighting eyes. These women were so excited about making a better life for themselves and their families.
3 Cords is a social enterprise founded to train, employ, and empower Haitian women and their families. The mission is to provide opportunities for physically handicapped women, and to show them that they are both beautiful and valuable.
This is a story that celebrates life and joy and hope.
One that trusts in the “already” and the “not yet” of the Gospel.
One that believes that Jesus came to make beauty from ashes.” ~ 3 Cords