We were attending a business meeting at the church. There was a short lull in the proceedings and folks were casually socializing. I looked down the pew just in time to see my friend Sherry quietly completing a few “knits & purls”. I quickly began to tease her about her knitting in church. It was too hard to pass up. There she was knitting needles twitching away while I, on the other hand, had nothing to occupy this brief moment of inactivity. She is a good friend and kindly tolerated my references to old age and being “knit in the womb”. My need to tease her was a natural result of my own idle mind and hands I suppose. I know she has been a “knitter” for a long time, but knitting has become a “hip” hobby these days. I recall when I tried to launch myself into this fad.
My knitting goal was not lofty. I chose a simple neck scarf for my first endeavor. I taught myself the knit and purl stitches. I had an image in my head of how it would all play out. I would carry my project and knitting needles in a tote bag with me everywhere I went. Doctor’s waiting rooms, teacher meetings, kid’s sporting events, would all be good times to pull out my project and “cast a few on” (that’s knitter’s speak for knit a few more rows onto the scarf). I saw myself as a “cool” mom who multi tasked and made good use of all her time. I soon learned my image of being a knitting mom was a tad bit unrealistic.
My first and last attempt at knitting in public took place at one of our high school basketball games. I settled onto the bleachers along with several other moms as we watched the pregame warm ups. I casually pulled my knitting project from my tote bag and began to “knit/purl/knit/purl”. Slowly adding stitches to my scarf, which at this point was only a few inches long. I acted as if I did not notice the interested onlookers. I tried to relax as I varied my attention from the game to my handiwork, hoping to appear a seasoned pro at knitting.
I noticed a handful of ladies hunched over my shoulder. Moms from either side of me on the bleachers scooted closer and closer. I swear I could feel the warmth of their breath as they hovered around me like pigeons at a popcorn spill. They were not looking at me or my project with the admiring eyes I had hoped for; instead they anxiously scanned my flaw filled effort. No kidding, one lady actually gasped after one of my “knit/purls”. Apparently to the trained knitter’s eye, uneven loops and varied tightness and “dropped” stitches are obvious and unbearable flaws.
Overwhelmed by the need to “help” me they soon began to offer assistance…“Would you mind if I cast on a few rows for you? I miss knitting.” “Would you like me to fix that for you?” “May I knit a few rows for you when she’s done?”. Eventually I handed my project over to the eager moms around me. They took turns adding their touches to my hapless knitting project while simultaneously squashing my vision of being a “cool knitting mom”. The game came to a close and my narrow start of a scarf was shoved back into the tote, never to be seen in public again. ( I did continue to work on my knitting in private, but discovered I lacked the patience and precision this hobby required).
I don’t blame the ladies for itching to correct my work. They were kind and good intentioned. I assume it is like when I see a crooked picture on the wall and can’t stand to not set it straight. I’ve thought about my foray into knitting and that fateful day in the bleachers. I wonder if I do that to God. Do I look at what He is making of my life, or the life of anyone I know, and see the imperfections? Am I distracted by His handiwork because it does not look the way I want it to? Do I try to take His work into my own hands and “add my special touch”? It is easy to say I trust in the Lord, but difficult to feel at ease when He starts to knit the threads of life in a way that is not my way. When I see knitting needles I am reminded of the importance of allowing God to finish the “project” He started in me, and in others. Letting Him “knit/pearl” the patterns in our life will result in a finished project we will praise Him for one day.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus…Phil 1:6
Lord, help me to be as confident in how You work as I am in who you are.