Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Blanketed by His Blood
By Elizabeth Bussey
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The excitement started months earlier. Everyone looked forward to getting away after enduring several long months of winter and often solitude. No one was immune to the joy resulting from the escape. Wives, mothers, daughters, singles, newlyweds and grandmothers all anticipated the yearly reprieve.
Entering the hotel lobby a few hours before, we had been lavished with smiles from waiting greeters. “Welcome to the retreat ladies, please get settled in and let us know if there is anything you need.” Many embraced with friends and made introductions with newcomers. “We will meet in the room just to the left of the elevators,” the sweet voice continued as women of all ages made their way across the lobby with their luggage.
Now gathering at our tables, we exchanged courtesies and offered open seats to stragglers. Conversations quieted when our women’s ministry leader invited us to pray over the meal, and then reverberated again as everyone headed for the buffet lines. By dessert and coffee everyone was more at ease with new found friends and just as the conversations started getting lively we were hushed again.
“Ladies, we have a special treat for you this year.” Patricia’s eyes sparkled as she continued. “Many of you already know Audrey,” Patricia said, as Audrey stepped forward with a couple of bright red fleece blankets. “She has been working very hard on a project for the past several months.” Patricia lifted one of the blankets from Audrey’s arms, unfolding it with an obvious gentleness, seen both in the movement of her hands and the reflection in her eyes.
“These are not ordinary blankets, they are red blankets.” Patricia said. Glances of understanding passed between several ladies as the room silenced. “Oh, there is more,” Patricia said. “As many of you have already realized, the red represents the blood of our Savior Jesus which covers your sin, just as this blanket covers your body, but what you can not see from your seats are the threads which are stitched around the edges.” Her hands caressed the blanket edges as she continued explaining, “Audrey used three threads when stitching these edges, representing our God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to remind us that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
“Each one of these blankets has been prayed over from the moment of cutting to the moment of stitching the final thread,” Patricia said, as two women came forward with stacks of red blankets and stood at the front of the room. “There is one for each of you - offered as a symbol of God’s great love for you,” delight radiated from her face. “May they bring you warmth and comfort as you imagine the Lord’s arms wrapped around you. Kneel on them to pray, use them to dry your tears, however God leads.”
Tears streamed through the room as lines formed to accept the precious blankets. In silent reverence each lady received her gift. Many wrapped them around their shoulders; others held them to their hearts and several returned to their seats and knelt in prayer, thankful for the gift of being blanketed by His blood.
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