Saturday, February 28, 2015

I am a Christian woman (poem) - "Tafadswa's Smile"

In 2010, while I was in college & while Kam was in Oman, I wrote & read a couple poems at a Poetry Slam. (The Old Factory Coffee Shop hosted monthly poetry slams that I was always in attendance and finally got the courage to enter.) I made it two rounds. The first poem I read was called "I am a Christian woman."

It's a bit angsty.

I wrote it during a time when I was craving more. I was seeking adventures in Christ (as I do today). I was feeling judged for wanting to act out God's love instead of study & debate it in class.

As this trip to Zim is approaching, I find myself thinking about this poem again.
Tafadswa's Smile

I am a Christian woman

I read the Bible – sometimes
Pray to Jesus and go to church
I don’t swear. I don’t smoke. I don’t disrespect my folks
I don’t have slave, sex, or an iphone

But on occasion
I drink alcohol
I eat too much
I kiss my boyfriend
and I listen to pop music
so what. Stone me.

I am a Christian woman
I have a calling from God.
And He has called me His child
He’s said “Child, I love you. Now Go. Love me”

And I went
Japan, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Denver, New Orleans, the DR, Orange City
and I’ve seen stuff
too much stuff. What have you seen?
The mini Eiffel tower? The Caribbean? Starfish in the sea?
the long neck of a giraffe? An elephant who thinks she’s a water buffalo – now that’s funny!
What about extreme wealth? What about extreme poverty?
the burns on a child’s bare foot
the tears from the eyes of a newly widowed mother of 9
the beating heart of a 2 pound baby, beating slower and slower until --- nothing
I’ve seen bloated starving toddlers; a retina blastoma the size of a melon and that can’t get surgery because his father doesn’t feel like getting blood tested
I’ve met a girl – 12 years old- who dropped out of school because a man of 40 took her as a wife
I’ve me a boy of 10 who looks like he’s 5 because he does get enough to eat
but his smile. Tafadswa’s smile. That smile can break your heart – break it into a million pieces and mend it back together. Because behind that smile is where Jesus lives.

--He lives behind the smiles of starving children
In the eyes of widowed women
In the feet of the man who hikes mountains every week to preach the gospel to the ears.
the ears where Jesus lives – screaming His love

But you.
You sit at home, breathing in Jesus like me
judging people like me
--Why? Because I think living the Word of God
is more important than studying it
because I love the homeless, the orphans, and the widows
because I am an independent Christian woman
and study evolution in Biology class, and will go to the ends of the earth to spread the love of God.
and why?

Love. Because Jesus loves.
he loves the orphan, the widow, the prostitute, and the demon possessed.
the ones who don’t deserved to be loved.
and you.
and me.
and in return I go. I see. I cry. I smile. I shout. I hurt.
and most of all I love.
Because I
am a Christian woman.

As you can see, Tafadswa's smile is something special.

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I am linking this post to Stories from a Missionary Link-Up over on the blog Mulling Over My Morning Coffee.
Mulling Over My Morning Coffee

1 comment:

  1. Oh I just LOVE this. There is so much raw emotion in this!! WOW!!! You have been to some amazing places. I can't wait to explore more of your blog :) Thanks for being a part of this link up.


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