Friday, November 21, 2008

Meditative Crafting

Just added this gem to the Church library. While I don't knit, I still enjoyed this book. It fits in with some recent books that knitting can be a prayerful, meditative act. Reminds me also that my sewing can be prayerful also if I'm intentional.
The Prayer Shawl ministry is one where people knit/crochet shawls to be given to people going through special events such as cancer treatment, a loss or even the joy of a new child. The prayers said while making the shawl enfold the recipient of the gift. Often a shawl is prayed over in a congregation prior to being given away. It may seem strange but I think those prayers make a difference. I remember going to visit a woman after she'd received a quilt made by church quilters that had also been prayed over during Sunday worship. As she rested between cancer treatments she'd sleep underneath the quilt. "It feels damn good," she told me.
Interspersed between the patterns in this book, are personal stories of women who knit these shawls -- personal stories of faith, crafting and caring for others. The stories actually made me think I don't do anything similar with my sewing but then I remembered Helen. When my friend Helen was dying, I was far away and unable to be with her. So I sewed her a cheery red, fleece pullover. It made me feel good to be able to do something tangible for her. After she died, her daughter told me her mother enjoyed wearing it but seemed particularly happy about the label I'd sewn into into a lower side seam, "Made with love." This being able to work with our hands is a blessing in itself.

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