As often happens when I get to quilting I start watching/listening to The Lord of the Rings extended versions. At one point Legolas asks Aragorn for forgiveness for despairing. There are moments when giving into despair seems the reasonable thing to do, however it means I’ve given into inaction, not fulfilling my greatest potential as a human being. That I believe with all my begin all is lost. That, dear friends is contrary to what we live as Catholics, as a people who believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. Twenty twenty is a time of hope, reflection, self-examination, consideration, introspection that will, over time, produce great art work if. If we take the time to dig into the work. That dear friends is a big
Forgive the poor lighting in the photo here. I’m working on a project that has two end goals. I’m submitting to a magazine so this is the last image I’ll share with you until it’s accepted or rejected.
As I marked then stitched line after line after line, idea after idea of what comes next presented in my head. Some of them will happen. Some of the ideas are memories of doing work in school: numbering lines for whatever work the teacher is giving us; writing our name and date in their respective places; practicing cursive writing; writing our first full paragraphs. At some point our paper changed from the yellow with wider lines to college ruled with narrower lines as our handwriting developed and our handwriting began to reflect more of our own personality.
This finding of our truest self is part of what we’re supposed to be about in our life. Knowing ourselves in relation to God is the one beautiful gift we get to share with others. This is not simply knowing our flaws, though this helps, but understanding them as avenues of Grace rather than impediments to knowing God and our neighbor better. This is not simply knowing our strengths, but knowing how our strengths are the things we get to hone and grow in, to offer others that gift, that strength so that they have a hand to hold, a hand up, someone to walk with along their way. This hand up, a hand to hold is an offering of hope in trying times.
I know the moments wherein I’ve begun to despair, not for lack of a hand to hold, rather things seemed so bleak, gray, overcast, shadowed. You’ve read here before that I like rainy days, the sky somehow still seems bright on rainy days. I don’t like snowy days, or snow for days. They are different. The silence of snowy days is sometimes overwhelming. This is what, in some ways, 2020 has the opportunity to feel like, one long snow day with snow piling high, drowning out the other sounds. I know at times we need this time to reflect. And this friends is why I see 2020 as a time of Hope, a time of reflection, a time to consider that which is important, to slough off those bits we’ve been hanging onto for who knows what reason, and to give into the warmth of the Son and blossom, to bloom where we’re planted.
Each one of the Saints points us toward the Source of Hope, of Joy, of Peace, of Patience, of where we become who we are truly meant to be. Hope is an active, action oriented verb, and a place of rest all in one. Hope guides us toward the understanding of Being Loved deeply and showing us opportunities to help others see that love. Hope orients our thoughts from fear to reckless abandon to wherever God wants to lead us. Hope is saying Yes even when we’re not quite sure where the path is going.
Hope looks like that candle in a window that we are making our way towards knowing that that place is Home.
I ask your prayerful support through this moment of life. It’s a good one to be sure, it feels easy to become complacent, to give into mediocrity and not pursue the gift of quilting & teaching with reckless abandon.