Friday, January 23, 2015
Grace on a Thursday: Crochet class
Last night, I started a three-sesh crochet class at a local yarn shop.
I crochet now.
Really, it's an odd time for me to be learning a new skill. It doesn't feel like the "right" time. It seems all the resources...time, money and energy...are scarce in my life. It seems, if you're floating on a raft after a shipwreck, the last thing you need is to pick up a new hobby.
But last night, as my fingers found their way into a pattern, looping over and over again until the pattern was repeated hundreds of times, the pattern became a rhythm. And that rhythm, hammered out along a strand of mustard-colored wool, gave me a steady, soul-satisfaction; one I needed.
The very first verb in the Bible is an action that God Himself does. "In the beginning, God created...(Genesis 1:1)."
It's the first thing He wants us to know about Him. He creates. "Let me just introduce myself, " He says, "by starting at something essential. You need to understand this about me. I am creative. I create. And I am THE Creator." Soon afterwards, we read that we are made in His image.
Some people don't connect those dots, I guess; lots of adults make claims like, "Oh, I'm not creative at all!" Well...aren't you? Or at least, weren't you, before someone else told you otherwise? Do you know any small children who make bold claims that they are not creative? I believe something in us, all of us, needs to create, because we were made in the image of The Creator.
I'm diverging now but I'm not talking about crafts, in case you thought I was. Some people are naturally good at creating a good meal. Or an inviting atmosphere. Or a portfolio for a client. Think outside the box when I say we all need to 'create.' What do you naturally drift towards creating? It might be crafts, after all; you know I for one love a good bunting.
Back to crochet class. I sat there, knowing I didn't have time for this. And yet the quiet focus around the table ministered to me. In a hushed space, your senses have room to wake up, and I felt grateful for small things: for my own capable hands (I may not be able to use them so well someday), for the texture and color of a ball of yarn (like mottled grey alpaca, soft as down), and the way a hundred of them looks stacked along a wall.
What felt like long forgotten skills, crochet class reminded me - forced me - to practice: Be patient with myself. Give myself grace. I could rip out my work and start over because I was just learning. And lately my life doesn't feel the same; mistakes feel like they run long lines of damage. And all the past knots and rips are hard to overlook. Yet the kind, grey-haired woman who taught us gave me freedom to mess up. In fact, she expected it. She smiled on at our awkward movements, our holes and skipped steps. Graciously, she'd walk us through the repairs.
I wish my real life mistakes were the same. I'd love to rip out a long strand of harsh words snapped at my kid, and then wind a more careful sentence in it's place. Honestly, I wish my fabric looked perfect. It just doesn't. Far from it. So crazily far from it.
It's humbling to know that Jesus still smiles at me with kindness. Of course He doesn't smile at my sin, but He smiles at my feeble attempts to fix myself and others when I just don't have the ability. He does have the ability, though. He is the Creator, the master weaver of all things together for my good.
Like the woman who taught the class, Jesus isn't surprised by my mistakes. He expects them. He's ready to walk me through repairs in grace, He and His bloodstained hands.
A little creating, being quiet, and practicing grace for myself did my soul so much good. As did remembering that God is overseeing all the work. He's available, loving and kind, and capable of fixing all the things I can't.
Crochet class wasn't the last thing I needed. It was the exact thing I needed.
Labels: grace on a thursday