Right sides together
I want you folks to know that I am doing more in my retirement than eating Cheetos and watching the grass grow -- although one of those is too true.
I am still quilting and making pillowcase dresses and stitching up table toppers and potholders for gifts and other people’s fundraisers. Most of it is for a good cause, assuaging my guilt over the time and money spent doing it. Anyhow, spiritual thoughts come to me related to sewing and here are two of them:
When you sew two pieces of fabric together, you always place the right sides together and then stitch the seam. Surely nothing could be more basic to sewing than “right sides together,” and I have done it a million times. Does this stop me from making errors? Gracious, no! I have sewn yards worth of fabric together wrong. I have sewn the wrong fabrics together. I have tried sewing a short seam and a long seam together. I have sewn two pieces of fabric onto another piece of fabric and then wondered how I miscounted. I have “sewn” yards of fabric together with an empty bobbin. I might be making fewer mistakes than I did as a newbie quilter, but I still manage to get the two pieces of fabric aligned incorrectly more often than I care to admit.
Spiritually, I do the same. Even though a basic tenet of Christian living is to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ, many times I am still wrong side out. I choose not to keep my eyes and heart locked on His, and I veer off or turn slightly in some other direction. Or I decide I know what is best, and even if I put Christ in close proximity, He still ends up behind my own ideas with me on the wrong side. Or I might be plowing on through my Christian life without a bobbin, or without prayer, or without Bible study or without Christian service. So the result is just pretend Christianity or pretend sewing. Yuck!
Another quilting thought. Basically a whole quilt is made working from the backside. All the piecing is done with right sides together so you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric. When you iron the pieces, it is always on the wrong side so the seams are opened or pressed in the correct direction. When the binding or very outside edge is attached, usually it is (quickly) machine sewn onto the front side, and then (painstakingly) hand sewn onto the backside of the quilt. Usually it is difficult to foresee how a quilt will turn out until it is fully completed and hung on the wall or draped over the bed.
Spiritually, isn’t it the same? We have no good overall picture of our lives until they are done. We are working from the backside or the difficult side of life basically all our lives. God has promised that He is in control, but it is very hard to see when we are working from this side of Heaven. From our point of view, life is not perfect, but we can’t see the complete project.
Keep your eyes and heart facing Christ. Keep on praying, studying, serving. All the millions of pieces that make up your lives (short pieces, strangely colored pieces, misshaped pieces, Cheeto-stained pieces, even the darkest holes) will be quilted together to Heavenly perfection.