Happy Mother’s Day!
Today I am very excited to share my mom with you. She encouraged in me a love of reading and words, and she is solely responsible for my latest creative endeavor: knitting. To add to the things we have in common, yesterday she graduated with her (second) Bachelor’s Degree from the same college I graduated from two years ago!
I am proud to call her mom!
Recently, in my theology class we were discussing God as creator. A statement was made that struck me. It was said “God created us because He wanted to – that it brought Him pleasure; and he continues to delight in creating us.” It made me think of knitting (I do that a lot).
I am currently making at least my ninth full-size blanket, my 10th sweater, and probably my 20th shawl. I have made more scarves and baby blankets than I can count. Do I do this because I need these things?
Not at all!
I could purchase them for much less money and effort (and really – how many shawls does anybody need?). No, I do this because I delight in watching the project form and grow. As each one is in progress, I look forward to completion and hope it will be as I originally imagined it.
Sometimes I find that it disappoints my expectations, while others it exceeds them; it’s not always easy to discern how it will turn out while it is still being formed – the big reveal is at the end.
I love to find a yarn that has qualities that intrigue me, combine it with an interesting pattern, and start a new project. I will inspect it and make adjustments as I go. At times I spot mistakes, have to rip a section back and do it again; or I realize that I need to add a new component to make it turn out just right.
At this point I would not blame you for wondering what this has to do with God, or maybe you can interpret my point already. In class, I suddenly had this picture of God “knitting us together in the womb.” I realized how much He must derive pleasure in assembling our gifts, personalities, appearance, and calling. He starts with the raw materials and slowly works in our lives to complete the pattern He had chosen for us. Just as I begin each project excited about the potential for beauty and usefulness – He must anticipate the possibilities of our lives.
He knows better than to judge us while we are still a work in progress; He is looking toward the end product and understands it takes patience to get us there. He will build us up in His kingdom “stitch by stitch” – knowing each small step builds on the last one. Sometimes areas need to be backed out and reworked as we veer off from the pattern. I know there are times we feel we have been taken out completely to start again.
It is a pain-staking process.
When knitting gets a hole in it, it can be salvaged by darning it. The hole is filled in by weaving a new piece of yarn back and forth to reinforce it – often it will end up sturdier than the original piece. How often does God fill in the damaged areas of our lives and create a stronger whole?
Again, I understand this analogy may be difficult for a non-knitter to relate to, but for me it was a revelation. When I create something with my own two hands (out of what was basically a ball of string), I love that item in a way I would never feel about something that came easily to me. I planned it, invested time and money into it, and brought it to fruition. I delight in the unique aspect of it – nobody else has this exact thing. It is mine alone.
God creates us because He delights in us – we are uniquely His – He pours Himself into us. I believe He treasures our variety (even though like knitting we are all composed of the same basic substance). He guides us, molds us, and loves us. Even if we are not following the exact plan, He can see that we are moving toward the desired end product – Christ expressed through us.
I find it interesting that the last thing a knitter does with a project is block it. You dunk it in water until it is pliable, then lay it out. It needs to be stretched to its correct shape and left to dry. It is only with blocking that the true beauty of a hand-knit shines through.
Lesson for us – let go of your preconceived notion of who you are, relax into God’s hands, and let Him shape you. Finally – rest in that new role and allow it to become permanent. The more complex the pattern the “harder” the blocking needs to be; just as God will stretch us further as we walk closer to Him.
Generally, when I think of God as Creator I see that as a big picture – earth, heavens, animals, man; but now I see Him as the Creator of individuals – personal and intimate – taking pride in us as wonderfully “hand-crafted”. I like that.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Terri is the happy wife of Bob, and proud mother of Melissa, Janelle, and Darren. She has eight incredible grandchildren (and is very excited that four of them are moving back to WA!) She graduated (yesterday!) from Life Pacific Bible College with a degree in Ministry and Leadership, and works full-time as a Dental Hygienist in Public Health. All other time is actively consumed with Knitting (capital K) and related activities (it may be a bit of an obsession).