Imagine your life–woven together into a unique masterpiece. If it were stretched out from the beginning–how might it appear to the human eye? Flecks of black darkness, explosions of white light, warm and cool tones–what would your image reflect up until now? That’s a question I am asking myself after hanging an over sized frame on my wall today.
I’ve hung the woven floral tapestry in my laundry room to remind me of quiet Saturday afternoons with my grandma. Even though many years have passed, I won’t forget the weeks she’d bustle about ironing, cooking, cleaning, and running errands, but Saturday’s were different. Those days held the fondest memories for me–that was the day she’d create. Her wrinkled hands would guide crisp fabric under the needle of the sewing machine, or she’d rock in her recliner while crocheting another fluffy afghan, but it was this tapestry bursting with warm hues that often held my attention. Year after year on select weekends, her fingers would push and pull the thin embroidery threads through the mustard fabric and from my juvenile perspective–it never seemed finished.
The backside of the developing tapestry held knots, strings, and a zigzagged mess of overlapping color. Nothing made sense to me when I sat on the backside of her creation. While we’d visit, her needle would weave down through the fibers and pull up towards the right of her shoulder. Over and over, she’d repeat the movements changing colors as the hours chimed on my favorite grandfather clock.
It took her years, if not decades to finish her creation. It now hangs in my laundry room and the large square frame holds her completed work. On the backside, ripped brown paper still flaps open a little–exposing the hidden strings. It reminds me again of moments curled upon her couch and staring at the underside during our long visits. Believe me, it still looks like a confusing entanglement of string and knots, but in contrast, the miraculous image on the front reflects order, purpose, and beauty. Every dark shade of green, brown, and rusty orange add depth. The light shades of white, yellow, and tan brighten the piece and make it come to life.
You know, like this tapestry, our lives were never meant to mirror sameness but variation. We weren’t created to live carbon copy experiences, perspectives, convictions, heartaches, talents, gifts, joys, or sorrows. What would this world look like if we all reflected the grey tones of sameness that so many strive for? What if we lost our ability to imagine and create? What if this world became completely hopeless, loveless, and God-less? For some, life remains grey and meaningless–a confusing mess of ups, downs, tight inseparable knots, and their life’s mission remains bent on destroying what’s good. On the other hand, there are many who believe in a loving Creator and His word. We hold tight to a Living Hope and we trust God’s faithful working in spite of life’s pain. Yes, we may lean on the backside of God’s woven work in a pile of humble need, but it prompts us to ask God for wisdom and understanding–like nothing else will. Wisdom’s bright silvery thread has a way of transforming our thoughts, doesn’t it? We remember that each one of us matters and each one of us holds a lifetime of beautifully bright, faded, and dark shades. The good news–God isn’t finished with us yet and we can trust Him to complete the work He began in us if we let Him. We believe He can and He will make beauty out of our ashes.
You know, during this season of Holy days, I pray we will all open the door wider to the true meaning and priceless value Christmas holds. We mustn’t forget that the gold strand and Savior of the world–Jesus Christ remains ready, knocking, and waiting to shine eternal value into our lives. The question is–will we open that dusty door and allow Him to transform us from the inside out and the outside in this year? If we do, our tapestries will become truly radiant–reflecting the Light of the World and I believe there’s nothing more beautiful than admiring His living grace stitched into a life.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
“…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.”