Forty Days of Prayer for Quilters: Layers yet One

As I write this we are in the middle of a deep arctic cold, snow, icy rain winter event. It is, according to weather sources, a once in a generation event in Texas. My Sweetie was keeping an eye on the heating system at the Priory Sunday evening and around 9 PM we agreed that he should go over there to make sure that the Sisters stayed as safe and warm as he could keep them. I stayed here just to make sure if anything happens here we can deal with it. So far so good. Please keep us, and all people in the line of this arctic blast in your prayers. Many people have been without power for two full days and some of us are having rolling black outs. Burst pips are a common occurrence. The Sisters have a truck that my Sweetie’s been driving back and forth to work through this.

As the deer longs for running streams my soul longs for you my God

Psalm 42

Quilting became part of my life way back in 1993. I was in that moment a newish Catholic, in full-time ministry who was in deep need of some creative outlet. As my own responsibility with the ministry grew the outlet was ever more important. As with quilting the ministry had a few facets which required different things of me in different ways. What I loved most, what I miss most, is the people. As the ministry changed over the years so did my quilting, and this is a necessary part of growth. Our skill set develops over time and in ways we didn’t know we were able to dig into. There are areas where I wish I’d dug in more in both quilting and ministry while this seems a statement of regret it is simply an acknowledgement of choices made and somehow diving into the Mystery that is God’s Grace and Perfect Will.

Recently, while getting ready for a book study I’m leading I started reflecting on the Trinity, One God, Three Persons. St. Patrick used a clover to explain the concept back in the day. And this still holds relevance today. I’m a quilter so what’s the analogy that will make practical and cultural relevance. Oh a quilt. A quilt is three layers, a backing, a batting of some kind, and a top. The back is the Father, the top is Jesus the Son, and the batting is the Holy Spirit, the love that flows between the two. The quilt blocks are are the community of the whole human family, including those in the full presence of the Lord, and the decorative, or functional stitching is us, and our journey in this life, how we relate to God and our neighbor.

Whew. I didn’t quite know where that was going. As a quilt maker I tend toward all the decorative machine stitching, creating in the mystery of God, something from the weird and wild mystery that lives in my head and heart. As this stitching moves from block to block, or the thread color/weight changes there is an indication of how I, as the woman God created me to be, relate to others, seemingly changing over the surface, however still the same person.

As I write there is a moment where I heard two quilters at a show relate to a quilt on display. One quilter loved the quilt, totally in awe, her friend said, that’s nice did you see this. For some I will make a dynamic impact; some others will take no notice or even not like me. I have the same experience with other people as well. Some make a dynamic impact, others eh not so much. WE all matter to God as evidenced by the gift of His Son. God the Father willed us into Being out of a complete love for us. Our uniqueness is necessary, we add to the beauty of God’s quilt in a dynamic way.

Quilting as a whole has added so much to my life, from the quilts I’ve made to the gift of friends I have, and the friends who’ve walked away. Some quilters have taught me to be more vocal, some have taught me that it’s important to listen much more deeply and to respond to their needs and tend their wounds, others still have taught me that it’s okay to walk away but to still hold space for in my heart.

Lent 2021 is beginning as wildly as 2020. I’m beginning my 29th year of practicing this Forty day Journey into the desert and new life. Through the years God has offered different opportunities to grow closer to Him, this opportunity is as unique as the previous ones with sacrifices all it’s own. I’m grateful in this moment that I can publish this post and go find whatever will be my Lent journal.

God bless you,


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