Thursday, October 20, 2011


I share more of Marcia's insight:
"When making a story rope, we may remember our stories better, perhaps revealing both joys and sorrows, to share with others. It is a tactile timeline of one's life or part of one's life. It is also a way of giving permission for many to share their stories.
Making a work of art representing an individual, whether a portrait or a story rope, extends worth and value to that person.
Since we are created by a loving, heavenly Father, the master Artist, our stories, as His artwork, are full of meaning and purpose. He is present in every day of our stories. Sometimes, this truth can be clouded in our lives due to a variety of circumstances. Story Ropes can be a way of affirming each person's worth to his or her Creator and to those in his or her community."
Marcia (front kneeling) in Cambodia with new friends, wearing their story ropes after sharing their pain filled stories of the Killing Fields. Click photos to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"A Story Rope can be made to help tell one's story in a colorful, tactile way within a small group of people.
Instead of writing words or speaking words to tell our stories, a fabric-filled rope is created to represent our lives.
Slim fabric strips of various colors are tied along a long, narrow strip of fabric about one meter long.
As participants tie each strip of fabric, on the one long piece, they are remembering different parts of their life stories.
Some parts of our stories are dark, so dark fabric is used to represent that period of time. Some parts are joyful, grace-filled, so brighter fabrics are tied along the "rope" to represent those parts.
Making a story rope is easy for anyone to make. No artistic skills are necessary in sharing one's story this way. It is an art form all can feel they have completed successfully. Many enjoy fabric, so it is a comfortable medium to use. It is user friendly."
I mentored Marcia in story-telling art techniques in spring 2011. She is now helping people tell their stories through art around the world.
Marcia in Cambodia wearing story rope • Marcia's group making story ropes in Hungary

Monday, October 17, 2011


I spent an afternoon with teenage girls on one of my cross-cultural trips. I sat with the girls around a table & asked them to introduce themselves. They told more than their names, they wanted me to know their stories.

They were so young and already had experienced so much pain and struggle. I was struck by their maturity and sense of hope. They radiated joy.
For a fun way to end our time together, I put out tags, painted papers, markers, glue-sticks & scissors. "Make anything you want on the tag," I said. It was such a little space to create on. I wondered if they would enjoy this little bit of art making.

They loved the project and started creating, not at all limited by the small space. With their stories fresh on their minds, the girls retold them now in colors & shapes that formed simple pictures.

When the tags were finished, I asked if any would like to share what they made. They all wanted to! So once again the stories flowed from girl to girl around the table, but now in pictures on little tags.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Guest blogger & friend, Marcia, shares her experience in Cambodia, making story ropes with pastor's wives.

"I was part of a team that hosted, taught & made art at a pastor's conference in Cambodia. I worked with the pastor's wives helping them tell their stories through making story ropes.

As the women shared their stories in small groups with multiple translators, the horrors of the Khimer Rouge began coming out.

Most had been little during the Killing Fields. Several remembered the loss of their father. One was separated from both parents at birth. There were many tears.

As the women shared, we stopped, spoke truth into each situation and prayed.

The story ropes were a bridge to get the stories out. All were amazed and encouraged as prayer and truth were spoken into each story.

Hopefully the healing had begun."

Marcia is in the top photo holding her story rope in front of the group. October 2011.