We had been there for awhile. I hadn’t noticed it at first. The room was cluttered with all manner of things: books, music, a piano, of course, papers ~ oh, all those papers ~ and dust. A lifetime of memories were there. The picture of her husband as a young soldier in World War II hung over the piano she so loved. She told me how he’d been stationed in Paris, how he’d been gone three whole years ~ and they just married one year before he left. She talked about the plants scattered on the various surfaces along with everything else, how she loved them, though they’d grown long and gangly and they, too, were covered with dust.
She excused herself a moment as she walked to the back of her tiny dwelling.
It was then that I spied the piece of needlepoint, a tapestry of sorts, dropped casually on the arm of the chair in the corner. I couldn’t resist. I went over for a closer look. It was a mishmash of colors and strings both long and short; knots were scattered here and there among the threads. It wasn’t finished, I could see, as there were still a full five inches of the bare mesh exposed. What was also showing captivated me: it was the part that was the actual scene, the actual picture she was creating. The hues and shadings were entrancing. I couldn’t refrain. I picked it up, needle still woven where she had stopped.
As she re-entered the room, she stopped mid-sentence. “I .. I hold onto that because it was my creation at the time my dear husband died. I could never pick it up again. It’s just too hard,” she sighed.
“What will the picture be?” I asked. Awkwardly, I twisted the words, “I mean, what was it to have been?”
Without a pause in her step she turned and walked out of the room again. I knew I had offended her; maybe even wounded her. “Why don’t I just let things be,” I chastised myself.
When she returned this time, she was carrying a slip of paper; on it were penned words in handwriting that looked to have been scratched upon the paper long time ago.
“Here,” she spoke softly. “This is for you. And with it will come a story for you to carry forward.”
I looked at the handwriting; I looked at the title: The Weaver, it said.
“So tell me this story.” I looked at her gently, not knowing what she would tell me of such import that I would carry it forward. She looked toward the page in my hand and suggested that I read it aloud.
My life is but a weaving
Between my LORD and me.
I cannot choose the colors;
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
Expectant, I sat down as she began to speak once more.
“You see,” she said intently, “there is design and definition in creation. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating an artistic piece or a child. You may be taking pen to paper, or fingers on a keyboard. You might be growing flowers to arrange in a vase or preparing a flavorful, colorful meal. You may be folding laundry and creating order and function. We are all weavers of a sort. We are made in God’s image, so we are all endowed with the capacity to create.
This needlepoint reminds me each time my eye falls upon it and my heart aches with longing that God is not finished with me. It reminds me that I am delayed in seeing the full picture, the design completed, the purpose defined from my underside perspective. And it reminds me that though I am limited in my vision, HE is NOT! He knows the reason why. He knows each and every dangling thread and knotty spot in my life’s design. And, my sweet friend, He knows the beautiful tapestry that He alone is weaving of your life intertwined with all the others with whom you have intercourse. God sees and He knows and He cares when we cry for want, when we’re discontented and when we are fully satisfied.”
We sat together long in silence as I reflected on her careful words. Then as I made movement to finish our visit, I thanked her. I thanked her for teaching me a life lesson that, yes, I would carry forward ~ outward and upward ~ as I continued on my life’s journey. “My life is but a weaving between my LORD and me ….”