Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Refuge


Knitting is an important ritual to me - it's not only a creative outlet, but also a way to make a gift for someone I care about, and to allow my hands to do repetitive work while my mind deals with other tangles. It's a beautiful journey - as long as I remember to keep it a journey, and not it become a destination.


I can always tell when one of my rituals (and I have many) is becoming unhealthy - I start to become anxious and irritable when I don't get it. That's when I know that I've started to rely on the thing itself to center me, instead of using it as a tool to bring me closer to God.


A friend read these verses over me yesterday, and they really aligned with my examination of rituals... The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and my foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army camp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock. {that's Psalm 27:1-5} If the whole purpose of any of my rituals is not to seek God, then it is not beneficial and needs to be scrapped or at least rethought.


But there are certainly healthy applications of the gift I've been given. I was struggling to wrap my mind around the current refugee crisis, and two things came out of it - the first was a collaborative effort with other small business owners to donate a portion of our proceeds to refugee relief (more details here), and the second was a pattern. I know people who paint during sermons and produce wonderful works of art - and I've always sort of envied that, until I realized that I can do the same thing but with different media. So with heart-breaking images from my news feed imbedded in my mind, I chose my colors, created my pattern, and knitted and prayed and cried until Refuge came to be (the pattern is free - I'm just asking that people donate whatever they would have paid for it to relief efforts).


Through a lot of recent prayer, I've gotten a sense of peace about pouring a little more focus into knitting (as long it remains a journey and not a destination). So I'm finding new homes for some knits that have been languishing unworn in my closet, and I'm embracing knitting as the processing art that it can be by knitting my way through our church's sermon series/women's study on Ephesians. I'm not sure what "Ephesians" looks like - but I'm curious to find out!


Beautiful dwelling is seeking refuge under the shadow of God's wings - but knowing that He's given us gifts that will lead us, like breadcrumbs, to Him, as well.

1 comment:

Patti M. said...

A beautiful post -- thank you for your transparency, your honesty, and for inspiring through your words.