The weather over the last few weeks has allowed me the opportunity to enjoy the back yard, the birds, reading, writing, and the local choir.
This has added to, completed, the sense of peace, renewal. (With a minor rather overwhelming detour into the land of unworthiness and insecurity.) These are moments bending low in the desert to drink from the well of life bubbling up, quenching, cooling. Upon waking the long missed songs serenad with sweet reminders of God’s love. Like that first sip of coffee (further proof of God’s love) aiding in awakening the senses, stirring the mind, a sweet kiss.
I listened to Bishop Barron’s homily for Sunday the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist – a long way of saying that we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus’ cousin John – who was preaching repentance, baptizing in the Jordan before Jesus began his public ministry. Bishop Barron breaks open the gift of John, explaining the nuts and bolts of his importance. It’s greater and more beautiful than I ever remember hearing. “He must increase, I must decrease.”
There is such beauty in stitching all of this together, like so much free motion quilting. Stitch by stitch the beauty is revealed. The full design not revealed until the last stitch is complete. As we read scripture, make it part of our being, Jesus increases. John’s decrease, our decrease is a recognition of Jesus, not a lessening of our person. God loves us, Jesus died for us Mary set the prime example of being a faith-filled believer.
While we work on our quilts we see the wonky stitches, the places we’ve had to take the stitches out, the places where the seams don’t come together in just the right way. We work so closely it’s not until that final moment when we can step back and see the fullness of what we’ve been working on. In that moment we’re often left unsatisfied because we know where all the bodies are buried. We know where the flaws are. We see them. Often it’s all we see.
Others see the beauty of the work. More than likely they don’t see the flaws. They might notice our flaws but know deep down they are the stuff that creates character in our quilts, in us. Others encourage us to keep going, because this quilt lays the foundation for the next. Like John lays the foundation for Jesus, each quilt lays the foundation for the next. He decreased while Jesus increased. This current quilt decreases while the next one increases.
Each quilt reveals a little more of who we are, a beautiful mess, layered together, being beauty revealed. How is God revealing more of your beautiful self in your quilting? Do you embrace the flaws as part of the character? Or do you focus on them so much that you miss the beauty of the overall work? Do you speak to yourself in the same way you speak to others? Are you fearful of making the next quilt?
Prayer: God of Creation, help us to embrace the wonky stitches, the errant seams, the “imperfect” color choices as part of who we are. Let our quilts, our work, our art help us to see more of you, and more of who we are in you. May our work, our quilts honor you.