Jane Clayson Johnson | Stories That Inspire

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As a journalist, Jane Clayson Johnson has traveled the world, with CBS and ABC News.  She's interviewed presidents and world leaders — and covered the biggest news events of our day.

But it is the stories of regular people engaged in extraordinary acts of kindness that continues to shape her professionally and personally.

After you read through Jane's story, will you leave a comment telling of a story that inspires you?   Or even better yet, tell of a story you've heard Jane tell that inspires you?


A few years ago, I went to Shantou, China, to write and produce a documentary about a group of volunteer medical workers… who had traveled at their own expense, to the most remote corners of the world, operating on children with terrible, disfiguring facial deformities.

China Globe
Source:  istockphoto

These children were among the poorest on earth. And many of their parents had made extraordinary sacrifices to find these American doctors. Some parents had traveled for days, by train and on foot, just for the opportunity to receive this life-changing charity care.

What I saw when I first arrived at this dirty, run-down hospital literally took my breath away. Hundreds of parents and little children were huddled together, waiting in lines in front of the makeshift MASH units that the physicians had set up for surgery.

Nearly a thousand children came for the surgery . . . only about two hundred could actually receive it.  There were so many incredible stories… but I shall never forget the sacrifice of a 65-year-old grandmother we met on that trip.

Every morning, as was her custom, she would walk to the Buddhist temple to pray.  One morning, as she was walking up the temple steps, she literally stumbled over a newborn baby . . . cloth and paper stuffed in her mouth. The baby had been left to die because of the deformity—a cleft lip and palate—on her face.

This beautiful woman had a child and grandchild of her own and already lived a very humble life. But she scooped up that little baby and vowed at that moment she would take care of her.

Grandmother hand

Source: istockphoto

She had heard about the American doctors and so began her journey to find them: Three days by train and on foot—almost 300 miles carrying her fragile load.

She first caught my eye walking through the hospital gate, her belongings stuffed in a black plastic bag, that little baby strapped around her chest with a big white cloth.

The doctors took her baby and within a few days, the child—nicknamed the “Buddah baby”—was reborn.  No more cleft lip and palate.  She could now eat and smile and live a normal life.

My cameraman and I went back to China a year later to track down the “Buddah Baby”. . . to see how her life had changed.  We hardly recognized her… she was so happy and alive.

That was a great lesson to me: One woman making extraordinary sacrifices. Her impact?  One child would always know what it means to have a mother, to be loved…


How does more fully becoming a part of what we are already part of, allow us to move to the center of our lives?

What stories are inspiring you to be a part of what you're a part of, to be the hero of your own story?

One of the aspects of the feminine hero's journey is that we keep our promises.  I have little doubt that those of you reading this entry do keep your promises, especially to others and to God.  Are we equally as good at keeping promises to our self and our dreams?

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