Be ye therefore perfect as your Father, which is in Heaven is perfect…Matt 5:48
I normally don’t require absolute perfection when making a quilt, (you do have to adhere to the principles of perfection fairly closely because if you don’t, it can throw the whole quilt off and make it difficult to piece it together in the end the way it is supposed to be.) The quilt I recently made for a friend though was different. For me, I was trying to send a message in this gift and I wanted it to be absolutely as perfect as I could make it.
I thought it would be a wonderful gift for her and I was hoping she would see that the time and effort I took to make it perfectly, would indicate how I felt about her. This person is close to me in relationship, but our relationship has never been what I felt it should be; but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Having grown up in a life of privilege, she had never had anything given to her hand made before. This person was accustomed to buying the latest, most impressive things for herself and her home. I wanted to give her a gift however, and I knew that while she loved the finer things in life, if I made my quilt absolutely perfectly, she would have to love it…and me…
After the quilt was given, it was clear it wasn’t appreciated and so I began this post. Here was my unsaid message to my friend.
You don’t have to like this quilt, but I want you to know that it was made with love from deep within my heart. Carefully, and with great thought, I chose the pattern named after your favorite person in history. The colors were chosen from your alma mater and your love of blue. Painstakingly, I made sure every square was cut perfectly; every seam stitched exactly ¼ of an inch and pressed exactly the way it was supposed to be to make sure the quilt would lay flat when finished. When, I made a mistake, out it came and it was done over. I held my breath as I cut and sewed, hoping it would be perfect and hoping you would love it. I prayed that every thread would be blessed so that it would be filled with the love of God that you may not only be wrapped and warm in this quilt, but that you would feel wrapped and warm in the love of God. Somehow, I hoped you would be able to feel my love too.
I later wondered why it was so important to me for it to be perfect and then I realized that because I wasn’t perfect, if I gave you something that was, it would somehow make up my short fall. Alas, it is just a quilt and had no transformative powers. However, I enjoyed making it and I knew it was perfect; I was sorry that it didn’t have the effect I wanted, but I know it was not for lack of trying. I let it all go.
There is, however, an object lesson in this experience and it was not lost on me.
Our lives are like a quilt. Carefully, and with great anticipation (I imagine,) our Father in Heaven plans our lives for us. Knowing the experiences that will make our lives rich, he carefully lays them out in a specific pattern and as we move forward in our lives, that pattern begins to emerge. Our reactions to the experiences sometime force alterations in the pattern, and sometimes, by the choices we make, we “tear” the original work of Heavenly art. Mending is necessary, sometimes, “ripping out the stitches” and starting over is required, but in the end, if we yield to His Hand in our lives, a beautiful “life-quilt” begins to emerge.
My Heavenly Father, God, carefully chose the pattern for me and my life and arranged for me to have exactly what I needed to make a perfect end result. But, like everyone else, I have a healthy dose of shortcomings, faults and sins. My “quilt” has at times, needed some serious ripping out of stitches, and a considerable rearranging of the pattern. God knows I am not perfect, even though I strive hard to be. He is, however, my number 1 supporter, encouraging me to get up again and again no matter how high the odds are stacked against me. I am so grateful for my loving Father in Heaven whose gently encouragement inspires me to try a little harder, dig a little deeper, reach a little farther and stand a little taller. He gives me the renewed promise that by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, and taking His name upon me, that perfection, while mostly illusive here in this imperfect world, is very much a reality because of His Son. His Son, my Savior, stands as my advocate through all my imperfections. Psalms 37 prompts us to “Rest in the Lord, Wait patiently for Him.” To my tired and imperfect heart, He has communicated with me that He will patiently wait for me as I strive to make my “life-quilt” all that it can be. It is because of this infinite Love and Perfection as a Father, that I am encouraged to remember that the reason we are here is not to prove to others that we love them, but to prove to God that we love others no matter what they say or do to us. The ultimate goal is to become as He is: Perfect.
Thank you, Holy Father. I love you!
3 thoughts on “The Quilt: A Life Lesson”
Elizabeth, this is beautifully written, and The Quilt is a reminder to all of us. We change as life changes are thrust upon us. Maybe a life change for your friend will lead her to the beautiful message you sent her, not through words, but through a loving deed. I wish that for you. I don’t know how people deal with life if they don’t have a strong faith in a loving God who blesses us not not ONLY through words but through loving kindness.
So true, D. Thanks for your insights
I guess we all must at some time experience the disappointment of having someone whom we have trusted let us down. It seems like such a waste. I am sorry this happened to you.
Even, more disappointing, though is to discover that we are sometimes guilty as well. If the ultimate goal is to become perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, then it certainly gives new meaning to the song, “To Dream the Impossible Dream.” But dream we can and dream we will. With God’s help, our dreams may come true.
Thank you for your post.