My grandma used to say life is like a beautiful patchwork quilt, etched with pain, sorrow and happiness but always stitched with love. She loved to spend hours quilting and sewing scarves, hats, quilts and sweaters. She even managed to plant a few seeds along the way.
“What are you doing, Grandma,” I spat. “Praying for me again?”
Her tearful eyes glanced at me, “I have never stopped.”
I laughed, “Give up now, old woman. I am sure God already has.”
“No, he hasn’t,” she whispered. “And neither will I.”
Our conversations continued like this for several months. I was becoming cynical and unmoved by my grandma’s attempts at converting me.
“It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship, “she told me. “It’s about relationship with the Jesus Christ.”
I just smirked and laughed as the door slammed behind me. My friends were waiting and so was my good time.
“So what was the delay this time, “James asked.
I smirked, “Grandma and Jesus, again.”
“She won’t give up, “he muttered. “Maybe you ought to consider the offer just to get her off your back.”
I shook my head no. “In 18 years no one has cared and why should they start now.”
My grandma’s thoughts echoed in the back of my mind. I could ignore her words but soon I couldn’t avoid them or God. I shook my head, allowing my thoughts to wander back to reality. Grandma would be at her sewing group for the next few hours.
“Are you alright, Jean,” asked Barb, head of the ladies sewing group. “Is it your granddaughter, again?”
My grandma’s eyes clouded with despair, “I keep praying for her. But I am really wondering if God is even listening anymore.”
“He is, she just needs time,” Jean whispered. “It’s hard to remember that God’s time and our time are not the same.”
“It’s easier said than done,” my grandma sniffled.
“Maybe you should try to think of your granddaughter, “Jean smiled. “As sewing a large patchwork quilt only this one is sewn by God.”
She glanced at Jean puzzled, “What do you mean?”
“You love to sew, right,” Jean asked.
My grandma nodded, “Yes, it’s been a favorite pastime since my husband died.”
“God is like a quilter,” Jean asked. “Only instead of quilting with cloth and sewing with thread, he sews with our lives and the lives of those around us. He threads us together with his purposes and promises.”
Jean continued, “Every finished square on a quilt is individual and beautiful. When they’re all sewn together, they tell a story, our story and his story.”
“Patience and persistence are required,” my grandma replied. “I am not going to quit sewing because my finger is pricked by a needle.”
“Exactly, “Jean smiled. “God never promised that our lives would be without fear, sorrow or despair. He also promised he would never leave or forsake us. He also said where two or more are gathered he would be present.”
My grandma said, “Are you thinking what I am.”
“Yes, I am, “Jean replied. “I can never say no to sewing seeds. We’ll continue planting and pray for God to some cultivation.”
Tonight I didn’t enjoy being with my friends or having a good time. Instead I was nagged my inconsolable guilt and emptiness.
As I flipped the light on in my room, I noticed a beautifully wrapped package on my bed. It was from my grandma with a simple noted attached: You’re always loved. I gently began to tear the package open, only to find a handmade quilt made my grandma.
A beautiful flower garden embroidered with yellows, blues and pinks filled the white cloth. Each square was filled with color, love and hope. Bright, yellow sunlight could be seen peeking through the clouds. My eyes were drawn to the stitching at the bottom of the quilt:
The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail
- Isaiah 58:11
Tears poured from my eyes like an open well spring. I quietly made my way down to my grandma’s bedroom, quilt in hand. Light peered from underneath her door. She was on her knees praying for me. I knelt beside her on the floor.
“The seed was sewn tonight, grandma, “I whispered. Tonight the bedroom light would remain on for hours.
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