with Rev. Meredith McNabb
Last year, I took a class in how to weave cloth, and I got hooked on it. It appeals to my sense of order, it lets me be creative and artistic without a lot of natural skill, and it’s just a fun thing! (Although I realize that if I lived in a different era and had to make all the fabric I used, I would be pretty much out of luck…)
As I was working on a project this summer, I had big plans. The pattern out of the fancy pattern book’s “advanced beginner” section was going to zig-zag down the cloth in red and white and look pretty great, if I do say so myself.
I worked on it, I got my teacher to help, I went in for extra time on the loom outside of class…and it looked terrible. I wove, and re-wove, repeatedly, and the pattern just looked awful. The red threads were too skinny and you couldn’t see zig-zags, and the whole project just got worse and worse as I wove. Perseverance is not my strong suit, and I fear that I’m more naturally inclined to give up when I’m bad at something.
And then I caught a glimpse of the back of the fabric.
When you weave, you only see the top of the fabric—it rolls up as you go along, though, and if you look down at the right angle, you can see the reverse of what you’re making. And it turns out that my nonexistent red zig-zags that looked terrible and random and trashy had actually produced a nearly perfect serpentine pattern in tan on the back. I couldn’t have made that pattern, even if I’d tried—way out of my league.
I’m grateful for the glimpses in life of where God has made a pattern, where God has made a way, that I couldn’t have imagined. When I’ve made a hash of things, gotten lost, chosen poorly or felt like there was just no way to overcome, it’s turned out over and over that there was good to be drawn from the situation. There was something on the back side that was worth finding.
I give thanks that God lets us make our choices—and I absolutely give thanks that God sifts out the best of what we offer and makes a way where there has seemed to be no way.