It has to be said, that I love crafts. There may be some of you who are shuddering right now. Others might be joining me in an ‘Amen for crafts!!’ chant. I’m a big fan, although I’m not very good at any one particular craft…I hardly ever finish a project before I’m onto the next hobby…so I’ve ended up more like a Jack of all trades and Master of none. But that’s ok, it’s therapeutic. And I need therapy.
Knitting was one that I took up for a while, but gave up as I always seemed to knit everything too tight (I’ve now moved onto crochet and it seems to be lasting). There’s actually been quite a resurgence of knitting as a modern, and even urban pastime. I’ve always been tempted to start a bit of ‘yarn bombing’ in my home town. It adds a sense of humour with just a hint of rebellion… my kind of perfect:
Anyway, knitting might not really be my forte, but a few experiences this week have made me think about knitting other than with wool. It seems that God is in the business of knitting also (I like to think that he is Team Crafts as well). Reminds me of Colossians 1:17: ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’.
A bit of background: I have been attending my wonderful church nearly my entire life, and it’s always been a second home to me. I love the people in it, I love that they love Jesus and I love that we love to love him together. It’s never been perfect, but that’s the way I like it, because everyone carries on despite the imperfections and weaknesses, testifying to God’s perfect and faithful strength. Recently though, we’ve had some changes, which always shake things to the core. People feel…unravelled, myself included. So it seems that God has had his knitting needles out (see cool arty picture below):
It started last Monday, at our drop-in centre’s girls’ devotional group. They were having a special pampering night and I’d been invited to come and read a short story. I got chatting with one of the leaders, who I never get the chance to see on a Sunday. We talked about life, work, church, and what the future held for each other. I came away feeling blessed and encouraged. The next day, I headed down town on a few errands. I bumped into a couple who I’ve known my whole life. They asked me about my work, encouraged me, told me about their holidays, and about their son’s ambitions to become a pilot. We stood for a good twenty minutes, even though one of them was on their way to work. The next shop I went into I met another lady from church, who told me all about her daughter’s recent mission trip, and now heading to university. I came home, strangely feeling that much more had happened than just me getting my errands done.
That all might seem normal, and even unexciting, to some. But it caught my attention. It felt good to get really talking to people from church, who I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with. And at a time when things felt a little shaky, it was just what I needed. To get back in touch with family. Coincidence? I took mental note.
Well, just in case God hadn’t made his point, it became crystal clear on Friday afternoon. Driving out of town, I (somehow) managed to hit the kerb pretty hard, successfully blowing out two tyres and wrecking an alloy. Genius. I was out surveying the damage, wondering how on earth to sort a car out that’s turned into a bicycle, and feeling pretty shaken, when I heard familiar voices behind me. Yet another couple from church, out for a cycle. They had a free afternoon together, golden time I’m sure, yet they stayed with me for at least half an hour before Dad was able to come and sort me out. They kept an eye on the traffic (and on me), offered me a cup of tea, and, were just, there. It made all the difference.
It hit me then, just how wonderfully amazing the church of Christ really is, and how blessed I am to be part of the family. To have people in my everyday life for support, encouragement and who love without question. Church. No matter what shakes it, God is the one who knits and holds it together. I’m so thankful to be a part of this beautiful mess. There’s truly nothing in this world quite like it.
So I’ve decided that maybe I need to take up the ‘craft’ of church knitting. Because I dearly love my church, but maybe I need to be a little more proactive about showing it. I might drop a stitch or two sometimes. It might not turn out exactly how I intended. It might even take a little bit of unravelling to get the pattern right. Thankfully though, there is a Master Craftsman overseeing the work, who doesn’t make mistakes.