Pass it On – Kurt Kaiser
It only takes a spark to get a fire going
And soon all those around can warm up to it’s glowing
that’s how it is with God’s love Once you’ve experienced it
you want to sing it’s fresh like spring
you want to pass it on
I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found.
You can depend on Him, it matters not where you’re bound.I’ll shout it from the mountain top- Praise God
I want the world to know; the Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on
In my early teens I went with my church youth group to Shining Light a weekend full of fun, fellowship, preaching and teaching. It’s one of those weekends where you go and get a spiritual boost, listen to God’s word, be refreshed and renewed with some direction for where God is calling you. There are friendships and romances that blossom in a healthy way.
The song at the top of the page was sung on and off through out the weekend as part of our worship and as the final song before heading back home. We were intended to be “Shining Lights for Christ”. A small number of young adults would experience that deep urging, a call if you will, to offer further service. Long before the first time I ever went to Shining Light I knew I’d offer some kind of service to the Lord. How that would work itself out remained to be seen. I remember praying at some point, “Lord, I’ll go anywhere for you just don’t send me to New York City.” I do love God’s sense of humor, He gave us knees after all, oh and there’s a flower that blooms infrequently that smells like rotting meat. Hello!
Anyway, we are all “called” to be a Shining Light for God. “Go and make disciples” is spoken over and over throughout the New Testament. We are meant to live our lives in such a way as to draw others closer to God. For some that has the deeper meaning of traveling to far away places and for many that means staying home, living a good, holy life. That’s not an easy thing to do as it requires a level of commitment, a level of endurance on our part. Commitment and endurance, feel like weighty words, and so they are. Commitment and endurance are built over time, they are challenged/tested by adversity, essentially the only way they can be. The song alludes to this: it only takes a spark to get a fire going. It’s not much. Once the fire is going many people can be warmed. It’s not until the fire is at the stage of embers where food can be cooked and the hottest heat is experienced. This is the fire that forgers and refiners use to mold metal and have it become the intended. The fire needs to be tended and fed to keep the level of heat necessary to cook, forge and refine.
We can get the sense that when the fire is not burning full force that we’ve lost that intensity, that deep heat and need some experience to draw us back closer to God, thereby getting that energy to draw others to him. It feels like an awkward cycle. And in some ways it is awkward. But we need the experience of the spark, the flames, the embers, feeding the fire, the intense heat to really grow in the life of faith.
Quilt making has this kind of journey. We see a quilt somewhere: the attic, a museum, a quilt show, in a magazine and think, “hey I can do that” and we’re ready to make that first quilt. The one that leaves that indelible mark drawing us ever forward in the quilt world. It’s the one from where we see our greatest improvement over time and the one that holds our heart strings.
After that initial spark we read books, take classes (as we can), purchase fabric and tools, we talk about quilting inviting others into this amazing journey. We spend time searching for the perfect machine and finding our own style, our own peeps in the quilt making community.
As that initial spark turns into a full-on flame we flit from here to there trying new thing, finding new fabrics and making quilt after quilt after quilt. This is the time where we learn new skills and try new things. As the flame dies down and we start making choices that define who we are as a quilter. Choosing everything from fabric and pattern styles to thread, batting and hand or machine or a combination of both. Each quilt has something to teach us if we’re willing to learn.
It’s challenging to journey through that process of defining who we are as quilters as the process of making choices is challenging and we often feel like as though we’re being untrue and unfaithful to some unwritten internal rule that quilt making must look like this. I think that one of the best things I ever in my quilt making journey is go to a quilt show and see the wide variety of quilts out there. Quilts are as unique as the individual. It’s hard to be an individual, it’s hard to uncover the layers of our heart and reveal who we are for so many people to see, for us to see, to get to that intensity of heat where our personal creativity lives.
As I write I’m going to give a shout out to Nichole Rivera who is offering creative support based on the Artists Way. Nichole offers several payment options that I think are well worth looking at. It’s a great opportunity.
Where are you in your quilt making journey?
Where do you think you’d like to go?
Is your creative heart leading you down a path that feels awkward?
Are you ready to be a quilterly individual?