Ya know how some things stick with you in a really good way? I don’t remember when Father gave this homily but it’s stuck with me for a long time. He spoke of calumny, and detraction and the harm they do, particularly in a community.
This particular homily had a specific focus however, the broader implication of learning, and how and knowing when and who to give information particularly when someone else’s reputation is potentially on the line. When this homily comes to mind I’ve learned to hear it, heeding it’s clear and direct teaching. When I haven’t listened to this teaching the loss was great.
There’s a story that I’d love to share. It’s not entirely my story. No story ever truly belongs to one person. Even the story of our life belongs to more than one person. My own part in this story isn’t without responsibility and while I did my best in this situation I can see moments of immaturity that may not have been received well. In the midst of the experience I was encouraged to write it down, and try though I might it simply didn’t happen and I think with good reason. While in the middle of it there was a lot of hurt that led to anger, and caused me to nearly leave my Faith behind, but Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This moment, here and now is a moment of forgiveness and trust in God that all things work together for good for those who love Him.
So this story won’t be told. Some experiences are meant for us to live and ponder, to continue learning from, and growing with them.
Because just like the one I did share it has the potential to do more harm than good. And there is good that has come from this experience, it’s so beautiful to see.
What does this have to do with quilt making you might ask?
A seam ripper is a quilter’s best friend is a good way of saying that there’s a way to fix mistakes when they happen. Sometimes though our fabrics or the type of damage don’t allow for repairs. There are times we simply can not fix the damage. I’ve scrapped, and by scrapped I mean tossed in the trash never to be seen again, quilts because of damage by a bent needle, aggressive stitching or sloppy thread clipping. I’ve also been know to rip a lot of stitching because it just didn’t work.
We get to share the stories of our lives, or not. We get to pick how we share those stories. Just like we get to pick who we make quilts for or not. I will say though that the last few years have taught me about extending grace, using that seam ripper whenever possible. And so I extend grace, not to receive grace, but to experience the deep freedom that comes from that.