Many things appear ugly and useless to us. In fact, often we discard the ugly and consider it a bonus to finally have it gone. One too many pumpkins (or tomatoes, or cucumbers) from the garden, trash, old furniture, over-ripe fruit. All can be considered useless and without beauty. And yet, those same items can be used to create objects of beauty and desire - a pie, a handy item, a refurbished piece of furniture, or a loaf of bread. One needs only to see the potential.
How often we also apply this same thinking to people! Perhaps there is someone in church that doesn't talk or look 'normal'. A neighbor that irritates beyond belief. A family member so unlovable you wonder how they can live with themselves. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all guilty of 'judging the book by its cover'! It is so easy for us to reject the potential in others.
As I contemplated these thoughts I was reminded of quilting.
Quilting is such an enjoyable craft. Selecting a quilt style, hunting for patterns and colors of cloth that will look just right, snipping and sewing. Creating a thing of beauty and usefulness which reflects the creator’s love and care.
Often, quilts tell stories. The blue denim squares were from Aunt Sally’s favorite skirt. That yellow check was Grandmothers best tablecloth. And that delicate flowery square was the dress I wore when… Scraps of cloth no longer useful as dresses or tablecloths – every piece bringing a different quality to the completed work. Some are shiny and beautiful, others are richly textured, and some are homey and worn. All come together to create a thing of beauty and usefulness.
I like to imagine that God is quilting us together with his Love. Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Each life is full of scraps - the experiences we have had, successes, failures, disappointments, loss, love, happiness, and dreams. For some people – the darker fabric seems overwhelming – too many disappointments, failed relationships, lost dreams. Things that make them bitter or difficult to love. For others, the sunny fabric of contentment and happiness show through. Highly polished professionals and simple, worn-at-the-edge stay-at-home moms. Brand new babies and aging parents. All are viewed as a thing of beauty and usefulness by God.
On a personal level- God wants to gather together all of our ‘scraps’ and create a thing of beauty. We can’t do it on our own. We have to rely on the Master to accomplish this work in us, keeping an eye out for the beauty that He will create with our varied experiences.
On a larger scale-God brings people together for a purpose. He knows the sunny, happy person can bring cheer to the downcast. The young vibrant youth can shoulder the burden of wiser, older persons. And all together – like a quilt – people come together and become a colorful living masterpiece of God’s patience, kindness, and love.Let's spend time now in prayer - asking the Lord to reveal to us what He wants us to become, and to accept His definition of beauty as it plays out in our lives.
Have ladies select several shapes. They should write words of encouragement, favorite Bible verses, encouraging poems, etc. on each shape.Use straight pins to pin shapes to poster board (you may wish to attach a paper across the top with a title for your paper quilt)
Hang quilt in church where people can read and be encouraged. Alternatively, create smaller quilts and hand them out to ladies who need extra encouragment and love.