Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quilt Pieces

I've been learning a lot about quilting lately.

Not that I'm a quilter - those who know me best realize that sewing of any sort is not my forte. But as part of an assignment, I've been spending time with a neighbor who quilts. One of the things she showed me is her "design wall". A simple piece of flannel tacked onto the wall allows her to position and reposition fabric to determine which design layout she wants to use.

Now, you may know more about this than I did but I assumed that if a quilt was a star pattern, the adept quilter sewed every star together, then pieced the star "squares" together to make a large quilt. Not so! Actually, each piece of a design - a star, an oval, a square, or some other figure - is a different element and can be laid out differently to create different patterns or variations of a design. In a way I never realized, a quilt truly is a reflection of its designer.

While my practical mind would think it easier to simply create the design and sew them together, quilters find joy in the process of deciding what the design will look like and how it will be uniquely put together. Each quilter has a unique signature that is included in all her quilts; no two quilt patterns will produced an identical quilt.

What a beautiful picture of God's work in our lives! We long for him to simply "make the design" in us, but He instead is focused on the process - laying each element out and putting the various pieces together to create a beautiful pattern, which is then lovingly woven together with His signature. The overall work - and each piece within it - is truly a reflection of the designer.

We are being made to look like Jesus. The church is being made into a pure bride. We must remember that He isn't making cookie cutter patterns. He's making unique creations - mini-quilts, if you will - that He will sew together into a beautiful mosaic quilt that will have an overall unity, because His signature in the center will be His Son on the cross.

Be encouraged today that God is at work in the process of your life! May this anonymous poem be a blessing to you, as it has so often with me:

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me
I do not choose the colors
He works so steadily.
Often He chooses sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.

Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God roll back the canvas
And unveil the reasons why
the dark threads are as needful
In the Master's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

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