(This is a blog entry I recently wrote for the blog at the Franciscan Spiritual Center where I work. I thought I would share it here as well. Enjoy!)
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col 2:1-3
These hands are the hands of those before me
The hands of generations past
Ones who taught me about needles, yarn and thread
Skills of old that are built to last.
What do they make for me?
What do they make for you?
Is this my spirituality?
Will it help me to find You?
How can it be that You are my thread?
Weaving together the times of my life?
How will You help me,
Through happiness, sadness, strife?
Embroider, knit or even crochet,
These crafts get me through my day.
They bring about a sort of calm,
Soothing to me, like a psalm.
Something inspires these hands to work,
They always need something to do.
Ever searching on their quest,
To find the everlasting You.
Original Poem by Michelle Kroll
As long as I can remember, someone in my family has been doing needlework. It has changed from generation to generation. My great-grandmother (aka Granny) was an accomplished embroiderer. Many of her works are still floating around the family. But, she was a woman-of-all-trades. She also did latch-hook rugs and crocheting too! My grandma has done mostly crochet work over the years. My mom taught me to cross-stitch, crochet and knitting. While it took a few attempts, I was learning this as a teenager, the love for it remains! Over the course of my life so far I have dabbled in all of the aforementioned crafts. I think I am like my Granny in that way. I always need to be crafting, creating works with my own hands. I feel like being a creative spirit and crafter is what defines me and therefore defines my spirituality.
For most projects there is a rhythm. It is that rhythm that creates the comfort and calmness that for some is provided by prayer. I believe that each project could be considered a prayer for the person receiving it. That is definitely the case when the object is created with specific intention for that person, making the exchange all that more delightful!
I invite you to consider what your form of prayer is. Prayer can be found in many non-traditional activities. As we learned from Mary Erickson’s entry it could be walking, mine is crafting and needlework. What is yours?