tell me a story

I am 100% convinced that story is the answer to most everything that ails us, divides us. If we sit and really listen to someone share their story, share their truth, even if we’re coming from completely opposite ends of the proverbial spectrum, it changes us. We find room for empathy, for love, in spite of differences.

I recently read a book called Hillbilly Elegy, a stark contrast to my usual fare of black history, racial reconciliation, and refugees (and 1984). And, because of the author’s brilliant, honest storytelling, I found myself understanding why the working class poor viewed the recent election so differently than I did. Do I agree with them? Have I changed my worldview? No, but I have more compassion.

May I encourage you to read my friend Brett Trapp’s story of coming out gay as a preacher’s son in the conservative South? It will touch your heart, I promise. Will you walk away having changed your mind about what you believe the Bible says about homosexuality? Possibly, but probably not. But your heart will be bigger for hearing about his life and struggles.

I’m finishing up my latest e-book, Shipwrecked: the Unlikely (but True) Story of a Family Rescued by Refugees. I so want everyone I know to read it, and not just for the $2 I’ll get per copy ordered (you can have it for free). Will it change your mind about executive orders and letting more refugees into the U.S.? Maybe, maybe not, but it will expand your heart to let more people in.

Whose story have you read lately that grew your heart?

p.s. I’m looking for “People of Peace” to read my new e-book (FREE copy!) and share it with friends. Let me know if that’s you.

3 thoughts on “tell me a story

  1. Kim

    I would love to read it and share with friends. I’m also a mentor mom for MOPS and I’d love to share it those wonderful mamas!

  2. Sharon

    Marla, Been thinking recently that I don’t know what my stance would be on refugees at this point in time, had I not known you. I do tend to be a compassionate person, but it is so true that hearing someone’s true story can really help to open your eyes. I sure appreciate and enjoy hearing about the families from Abbey Lane. I grew up in a big apartment complex and there were lots of families from Saudi Arabia. Back then (at least as far as I know) it wasn’t any big deal and no one cared. I had two close friends (cousins) from Iran. One of them recently shared why her family moved to the US all those years ago. Honestly, I’d never given any thought to the why. But, hearing her story was pretty amazing, for me. One point she made was that if they were attempting to move to the US now, it wouldn’t have happened. I still don’t know why her cousin moved here, but have often wondered. This also makes me think of a girl I met when she was 8. I was in Canada working with kids and she and her Mom were refugees from Baghdad. She is such a sweetheart and we are still friends. Some members of my Church are part of an organization that works with International Students, one of them was challenging people to get involved with helping refugees. I asked how to do so. There was a meeting that I couldn’t make, but I hope to make the next one. All of that to say, I want to be a Person of Peace! And thank you for the part you play in that!

  3. Heidi

    Yes, I would like to read it. I love your heart so, so much. I have watched afar since you lived in Ohio and since I lived in Ohio:)

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