Living Life in Kairos (A Lesson from Louphine)

February 16, 2011 | 10 comments

Earth whirls, and time swirls with celestial bodies in forever-motion. And I treat another day like it’s a race toward what? The mortal finish?

I measure the day’s worth in how many checkmarks I etch in inked boxes, how many lines I cross through to-dos, and the amount of square-footage of countertop I see, freed from the weight of paper.

Time is a sacred thing. Yet I treat it like a fast-food meal in a sack — consumed ravenously, with one hand on the steering hand.

I want to treat time with divine hands. Like every moment holds something sacred. I want to live life in kairos.

I wonder if this is how Louphine handles time — like a kairos thing to be treated delicately with just … one … hand.

Louphine in Haiti sewed a simple coin purse with lime-green stitches. For me.

Two hours, she sewed, with just one hand.

My friend, Ruth, watched and worked alongside Louphine as she stitched. Ruth bought the purse and brought it home for me, a mama who treats time like a sprint.

I carry this stitched time capsule with me. I run my fingers along its edges and think about time. Think about Louphine in Haiti.

Tectonic plates moved, and earth split right open, and the brick building fell on her.

“I lost one arm and one leg, and that was very difficult for me. I was depressed for a long time, unsure of what I could do after that,” Louphine says. “… I have learned to sew with one hand and can make purses, necklaces, and head bands. I pray that God makes this business successful so I will always have work.”

She uses a rock-filled water bottle to hold her work in place, while she stitches with her one hand.

Her work is worship, an offering held steady rocks and water. And I want to do that: To trust that my work can happen in kairos, held steady with the Water and the one sure Rock.

Celestial spheres won’t stop, but Louphine takes her time.

I lift the purse to my cheek, caressing a holy thing.

Louphine makes purses through a business called 3 Cords, on the Mission of Hope in Haiti. The women are looking for donated material. You can find out more at their website.

Richard Stearns, World Vision president and author of The Hole in Our Gospel, met Louphine recently and wrote about her here.

You can also read more about Louphine, the artist, here.


Submitted today as part of Ann Voskamp’s Walk With Him Wednesday series. Today, I walk with Him — WALK — not run.

by | February 16, 2011 | 10 comments


  1. David Rupert

    What a great story about the value of time — and how "holy time" just is so much more important than our silly clocks and checklists.

    You will always treasure that purse.

  2. Amy Sullivan

    I love this story and the photos that go with it. I'm always running. Always, always, and I'm always afraid that if I'm not running, that I'm behind. It doesn't matter how many times I tell myself that my worth isn't measured in all the tasks I complete, I race on.

  3. Carey

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. And the analogy between the rocks and water and life and time…wow.

  4. deb colarossi

    I wrote today that I saunter.
    I think I am blessed to be able to do this lately.
    Or that I am choosing it in some part I think . Intentionally.
    I was reading that John Muir said that saunter got it's meaning from the people who were on their way to the Holy Land.

    I will check out these links, thank you. I love to sew and this is so incredibly humbling.

  5. Megan Willome

    Writer to writer, this post would not be nearly as good without Louphine. You remind me to bring in people, which I forget.

  6. Linda

    She is a wonder Jennifer. I have been thinking much about time lately too. We have been given just so much. It is a precious commodity. I long to use it wisely.

  7. L.L. Barkat

    And look at that smile. I love her stitching near the water bottle, and you with her stitches held close.

  8. Cheryl

    The Stearns book is on my nightstand. You're the third person this month who has blogged about it. I suspect there are some truths in there for me. The reality is, I'm a bit afraid of reading, knowing that it might change me and well, that's what I'm most in need of.

    I'm moving up the list, right after I finish 1000 Gifts.

    Thank you for this, dear friend.

  9. Lyla Lindquist

    I keep looking for that bottle, the one with the rocks in it, thinking it might be the thing to hold my stuff down so I can stitch it together. And I suppose, you have it here. The Water, the Rock. If I'd just go that way…

    So many things I think I need to do today, yesterday, tomorrow all over again. Louphine puts in her stitches, and it is enough.

    I need enough to be enough today.

  10. Craig

    I know it’s Sunday morning – a long time since “Walking With Him Wednesday”. But it took a long time to get through the “Multitude Monday” posts – and still didn’t get past 140 or so.

    This is so true and you hit it on the nose, “Time is a sacred thing. Yet I treat it like a fast-food meal in a sack” – amen – we all do. Stunning – your words really hit it.

    And then the story of Louphine. I read a bit of their site.

    And I was blessed by your words today. Thank you.

    God be with you and yours


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