Sunday, March 14, 2010

Serendipity or Status Quo?

She was sitting in the back row in the corner seat. It's a small church, so newcomers are easily recognizable. She's an African American with very dark skin. I feel inexplicably drawn to her and I want to go introduce myself, but she is in a deep discussion with her seatmate. After the opening hymns we were urged to "meet and greet" and I took the opportunity to turn and catch her eye and I made gestures to indicate I was going to work my way over to where she was sitting. She walked towards me and said, "I'll meet you halfway." She takes my hand in both of hers; they are very warm. I am riveted by her eyes which are also warm, deep and extremely captivating. Her name is TJ and "no" she doesn't live here she's just visiting. By this time the music has started up again and we must take our seats.

After the service I find I am "trapped" by people standing and chatting and I see her exit the sanctuary. When I finally make it out of my pew and downstairs where coffee and cookies await, I find she is there, pouring herself a cup of coffee. It is now that I notice that she has a very, very large backpack at her feet, it is almost as tall as she is. I again approach her and ask where she's from. What I learn astounds me. She is walking all over the country "telling people about Jesus." I ask her how long she's been doing this and she responds, "Five years". I ask if she's with an organization and she says, "No, God told me to do this, and so I am. He provides for me." I ask where she started and she says, "Arizona".

By this time Sunday school has started and I am torn between attending my class which is excellent--deep and thought-provoking (we are doing a Precepts type of study on Ephesians), and staying and talking to her. I go to class, hoping she will still be in the coffee room when we are done and I plan on asking her to have lunch with us. After class I open our classroom door and my heart sinks when I see that she has gone. I wonder where her next stop is. I wonder how she decides where to stop. I wonder where she will sleep tonight. And I marvel and the obvious peace and contentment that she exudes. Her faith has been tried, tested and proven. I wonder why she chose our church and I wonder why I didn't stay and talk to her. I can't shake the feeling that I have had an extraordinary encounter and I wonder whether I was too intent on study and not intent enough upon application.

Godspeed, TJ, you are in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 3...or 4 & 5 If You're Counting...

Further adventures of a winter's pastime.... Jeanne sweater pattern from Debbie Bliss' Winter Essentials
knitted with Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed
85% Wool, 15: Angora
The picture doesn't do it justice, it's a beautiful heather green
Last year for my birthday Jessi gave me this beautiful hand painted yarn from Shaefer, it's 60% merino wool superwash, 25% mohair and 15% nylon. It was a huge skein so I knitted a cowl out of it and now I'm working on the Spring Forward Socks pattern by Knitty. I LOVE this pattern, it's lace, but easy, easy, easy to follow. One sock down, 1 half finished.

Another cowl, I couldn't resist Manos' silk blend yarn the last time I was in the yarn store! This is Crofter's Cowl from Ravelry, a free download.
And that's all folks.....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day Two

Table runners...finished and in progress.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Not Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Day One:

It's been a long winter. Don't get me wrong, the weather has been glorious, but the days are short in December, January and February and I chase away the blues that are always huddled outside the door of my mind space but creating things. It brings color into my world, allows me the satisfaction of "completing" something and gives me the tactile sensations I crave. I love using my hands in whatever way: cooking, sewing, knitting, gardening, even repair jobs.

With that said, I'll post some pics of the works already finished or in progress.

This "Christmas" quilt is a pattern I saw in a quilting magazine years ago and fell in love with. Although the fabrics are sewed somewhat "randomly", the resulting "wreath" in the center is pleasing in all ways. I may use this pattern again with perhaps spring or fall colors. I don't have a full-size picture, as I haven't sewn on the binding yet. But...wait until you see the back side...WOW!
No, I cannot take credit for this amazing quilting job. I cannot afford the sophisticated sewing machine that would allow me to do this, so I have a local quilter do the quilting on her HUGE (takes up her whole downstairs rec room) quilting machine! I gave it to her and said, "do whatever you want with this" and this is what she came up with. It's so beautiful that I will end up hanging it both ways...front and back. She said she had so much fun doing this and is now inspired to do a solid color quilt!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In the Garden

Garden of Gethsemane--stock photo
Easter is on the horizon and our church family is “walking with Jesus” as He concludes His ministry here on Earth and prepares for His ultimate home at the right hand of His heavenly Father. This past Sunday’s sermon was spot on as our pastor preached from Matthew 26:36-56. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus is spending an interminably long night in prayer as His disciples struggle to merely stay awake. Gethsemane means “place of the olive press.” What an apt name for what lies ahead. What He faces He full well knows, those drops of sweat blood testify to it.
Have any of us ever faced such excruciating emotional agony? “If it be possible, take this cup from me…” What a bitter cup it is, full of sin, suffering, separation, sacrifice and ultimately our salvation. Aside from the sheer physical torture involved in His death for us, He willingly takes upon Himself the world’s sin….our sin—an indescribable burden that causes the Father to turn away…to turn away from His beloved son, for holiness cannot gaze upon sin. One of my favorite hymns is “Great Is They Faithfulness” which states that for us, “there is no shadow of turning with Him.” We will never have to face the unspeakable sense of abandonment that Jesus briefly endured on our behalf. He paid the price He did not owe for a debt we can never pay. My mind never ceases to reel at this truth, this sacrifice, this love.