Have you stopped lately, to admire the skills of a quilter? I so appreciate the handiwork of quilters -- the way they can whip up a nine-patch, or spend untold hours piecing together a memory quilt. When I was a girl my grandmother talked wistfully about a quilting circle she had once belonged to. Weekly, these ladies gathered to stitch and sew and talk and laugh and stitch some more. It sounded wonderful to me, but sadly I never learned to sew beyond buttons and occasional hems. When I'm really pressed for time, I resort to duct tape hemming.
But back to Grandma. One of my favorite quilts that she made was a whimsical patchwork of odd bits: cast-offs; the remains of aprons, hand-me-downs and even worn faded pieces of Grandpa's plaid shirts. "This quilt," she told me, "is made from things nobody wanted anymore." Wow. A full-sized quilt made from dozens of scraps and remnants. Things nobody wanted anymore. Which, all these years later, has got me to thinking. Maybe I can try my hand at quilting. But mine would not be sewn from fabric and thread; mine would be pieced together with words.
When life stops at its undefined, uncertain edges I could add a bric-a-brac of merry, fortifying words.
And when I keep tripping over the same memory for the umpteenth time, I could hem it up, silencing the fabric of yesterday with words of healing and resolve.
To weakened, worn out seams I could sew words of encouragement. This would require good strong thread. The more colorful, the better.
To become a skilled crafter of "patch-word" quilts, I would need somebody to emulate.
I would like to sit under the tutelage of a master wordsmith...and Who better than God Himself? He takes the frayed edges of our scattered, torn selves and gently mends. His choice words are a patchwork of fulfillment; a story of redemption, personal and real to each of us. To the emptiness at the end of ourselves, He, the Lord, weaves in vibrance and texture and glorious bits of surprise confetti, just because He loves to see us rejoice.
Your quilt will look different than mine, because your Creator knows the unique stuff that makes you tick. Just as a doting grandma pieces together special fabrics for a beloved child, the One who watches over us all is carefully soothing our hastily basted, gaping wounds and suturing them up with His love. He sees the absurdity of our self importance, and gathers us up in His exquisite embroidery of grace.
Who else but our Creator, our Master Wordsmith, could take the odd bits that nobody else wants, and stitch together a masterpiece? If He can do that -- and He can -- then maybe, just maybe, He can use my feeble attempt at word-weaving to touch a heart, heal a hurt, invite a laugh, quiet a desperate soul.
If you come to my home, you won't see any handmade quilts. But I hope, during the conversation, you'll enjoy a verbal patchwork of color and joy and hope. And the best part is, you will have added to the finished product; we will have enjoyed our very own quilting circle.
Grandma would be so proud.