Come sit with me

I love blue, purple and scarlet yarn! I have crocheted most of my life, and when I found out that there were women across the nation who were forming Prayer Shawl Ministries, I became so excited; I started one at my church. The Wednesday devotionals on this blog weave together the art of crocheting and the love of God. Plus there are quotations on leadership, patterns, book reviews, and news from other Prayer Shawl Ministries. So if God has filled you with a love for crocheting & knitting, pull out those blue, purple and scarlet yarns and those crochet hooks and knitting needles and join me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Unwind the Skein

Matthew 22: 37-38
Jesus replied:  “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I watched with concern as a friend struggled with her yarn.  Her stitches were well-shaped, her shawls always looked beautiful, and her borders enhanced the overall flow of the pattern.  But she struggled with the yarn.  It would fray and she jabbed her hook through it rather than under it.  Pulling yarn through the loops, she would catch a few of the fibers below.  Her shoulders were tense, her expression severe.  She was not enjoying herself. 
We talked about what might be the problem.  She walked me through everything – nothing was wrong.  And then I glanced at her skein.  She was unwinding the yarn from the outside. 
(You can uncover your eyes now, that’s the worst part of this horror story!)
I don’t ever remember reading this first and foremost rule of using yarn:  Thou shalt unwind the skein from within.  I think it ought to be stamped on every skein wrapping, like the warnings of impending death on cigarette packages.  Some skeins show little pictures of the two directions you can pull the yarn:  from around the outside and from the center.  There are no written explanations on this, but I think the caption under the ‘from the outside’ picture should be ‘NEVER DO THIS.’ 
The fibers which become yarn are twined in one direction.  Honest.  Go unravel a piece of yarn and try to twist it the other way.  It won’t work.  But twist it back in the direction the machines twined it, and it will become whole again.  As you knit or crochet, you should continue working in the direction the yarn was originally twined. 
Sometimes, it is difficult to find the end piece hidden inside the skein.  Be diligent; pluck out a whole bunch of yarn and gently unravel it until you find the beginning.  You will be amazed how easily the rest of your work flows from this one commandment: Begin at the center.
In life, I can do wonderful things that look beautiful, are useful and appreciated and praised.  But if I do not have the first commandment at the center of my life (Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind) then everything I do will be difficult and unfulfilling.  Once I began loving God with everything within me, the second commandment (love my neighbor) flowed easily and filled me with grace, joy, and hope.

My God, fill me with your presence.  Break my heart.  Engulf my soul.  Consume my thoughts.  Let me be totally Yours.  Nothing I do will have any meaning if You are not the center of my being.  Amen.

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