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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)

TITLE: Life Is Sew Good!
By Donna Powers


“Hey, mom, your embroidery looks weird from the back side.”

Lara has found my embroidery hoop. I left it next to my chair last night, and she’s looking at it from the reverse side. “I can sort of tell what it is, though,” she continued.
“This green section here is probably some grass, and that blue has got to be sky. There’s a pink shape in the middle that looks like a body, so you’re probably making a picture of a person, right?”

I told her that the picture was of a young girl in an orchard.

“Oh, so that’s why there’s so many of those little orange knots. Why do you make the oranges from knots?”

I tell her that those were called French knots. They make a little round, raised area on the front side. That makes shapes that look like real oranges.

Lara is delighted at the reverse side of my picture. She goes over its and tries to guess what the other areas could be. She has problems figuring some of them out. She laughs as she counts the number of uneven ends that stick out of the otherwise neat rows of stitches. Finally she turns it so that the front is facing her.

“Wow!” she says. “It’s so much clearer and more beautiful from this side, mom!”

And it is. I can clearly see the young girl in the orchard, and the oranges peeking out of their leaves. The girl’s pink dress is rippled by an unseen wind, and her chestnut curls are spilling over her shoulders. The silk-etched sky has delicate strands of white and gray clouds, and there’s a faint area of purple to indicate mountains in the background. Pale yellow sunshine streams downward through the sky and is reflected on the leaves.

My embroidered picture will look beautiful when it’s hanging on my wall - as long as I hang it with the correct side facing to the front After all, no one would want to hang the reverse side on a wall. The reverse side doesn’t show enough of what the picture is meant to be.

I once heard that we see our lives are like an embroidered picture. What we see of our own lives is like the reverse side of that picture: indistinct shapes, ungainly knots and uneven ends of threads. We can’t tell much about what God is doing with our lives from our own point of view. To us, what we’re going through looks unclear, ungainly or even messy. But God sees the front of our “embroidery” picture, because He’s looking at it from the Other Side. He sees the picture of our lives clearly, because He is the one who is designing it.

Row after row, stitch after stitch, our Lord puts the colors and shapes and textures of our lives into what will become our finished picture. The instrument He uses to fashion the picture can be as sharp as a needle, but it’s His hand that brings the colors and definition to our lives.

When we get home to heaven, and greet Him in person, He will let us look at the finished picture of our lives, and we will finally see the picture from His point of view. It’s only then that we’ll see His masterpiece.

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This article has been read 1139 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey02/15/07
I, too, have heard this story before. I don't know who first came up with the concept, but it sure is a good one! I sometimes feel like I'm tripping over the knots. I wonder what good can possibly come out of this haphazard life that sometimes seem to have events come and go, so out of control. Thanks for the reminder that our Father is making a masterpiece out of our lives. Very encouraging.
Julie Arduini02/18/07
This is a great message. How it will all make sense.
Kathie Thomas02/21/07
Great story, I could almost see the embroidery myself. Great reminder of our life is for us.
Joanne Sher 02/21/07
I've also heard this before - and you convey it beautifully here. I especially love your second-to-last paragraph.
Jacquelyn Horne02/21/07
Beautiful thought. Good writing.
Jan Ackerson 02/21/07
Oooh, interesting, I took a similar approach, but I like yours ever so much better! Nice job!
Joanne Malley02/21/07
I've often felt like a reversed needlepoint. And, just like your story so honestly shared, it was God who showed me myself in distinct clarity. This analogy is one that can make things more clear for anyone. I loved the reminder of when how we'll be when we get to heavean!! Terrific job! Jo
Beth Muehlhausen02/21/07
A good lesson, and well told in an engaging way. How true that we see - but dimly! Enjoyed the dialogue followed by commentary - a nice devotional.
Betty Castleberry02/21/07
The analogy in this piece is great. You did a good job of bringing the daughter to life as well. Well done.
Myrna Noyes02/21/07
Great message! Great writing! I love to embroider and wish I had the pattern mentioned in this piece! :)
Sally Hanan02/21/07
You have some good descriptive words in this one, and I'd encourage you to find even more, e.g. I loved the "silk-etched sky" but you could change "chestnut curls", which many writers use, to russet curls. Nice piece.
Patty Wysong02/21/07
This is one of my favorite analogies and you did a wonderful job with it!! Seeing it through the daughter's eyes was fun. I never thought of the needle before. Thanks for pointing that out!
Pat Guy 02/23/07
This is one of my favorite analogies too - and you did a really good job of conveying this. I loved the child approach - very symbolic. ;)