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, August 10, 2011

Hanging Your Wash on the Line

John 15: 1-4
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

            A few years ago, I made a decision to be more productive but less busy.  I had filled my life up with busy and found myself not completing many of my plans.  Plus, I was forty-seven years old!
So I started hanging my clothes out to dry.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Instead of dashing into my laundry room to toss a soggy load of clothes into my dryer, pushing a button, and dashing away to the next project, I took the clothes outside and hung them on the line.
I love being outdoors, but I never seemed to take time to go outside.  I was so busy I couldn't find the time to think.  So I started hanging my clothes out and discovered some wonderful things.  I love being outside again, and my clothes smell of the outdoors even when I put them away.  Hanging up clothes gives me the time to think simple thoughts and to ponder large mysteries.  Plus, I realize how the previous week has gone.  I first realized this when I glanced out my kitchen window, wondering if the wash was dry, and saw a field of red.  Almost everything on the line was red.  I had been fighting several battles that week; I guess I had dressed accordingly.  The next week--disaster after disaster--the clothes pinned to my lines were black, gray, and brown.
I made a concerted effort to vary my hues.  If my emotions influence my color choice, perhaps the opposite would work, too.  This morning, I hung out florals, stripes, and solids in every color.  It had been a terrible week, but I don't think any but my closest friends noticed, and I feel wonderful today.
At the beginning of every prayer shawl meeting, I write in a ledger the name and prayer need for each shawl recipient.  This book stays with me and is not for public display.  But, like clothes on the line, it shows me what needs are being acknowledged by my group.  It also shows me when there are glaring gaps in some areas.  If one week is full of widows and the next is full of grieving daughters, we have done a good job comforting those who mourn, but what of the others?  The abused woman in the shelter?  The cancer patient?  The woman whose career is in jeopardy?
A mentally healthy week is reflected by various colors on my clothes line.
A spiritually healthy ministry is reflected by the varied needs which are being met.

Oh Gardener of my soul,
I don’t want to be so busy that I stop being productive.  In my productivity, let me be well-rounded.  Let me be a vine which bears fruit that meets the many different needs of those around me.  When You prune me, let me accept the need for rest and restoration, so that I can bear fruit again.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment