Friday, December 24, 2010

the patchwork christ

offered before Holy Communion at Heartland Church one day in 2010 . . .

apropos as this year winds down and another year prepares to carry us along with it like the wind, like a stream, like a dream . . .

the patchwork Christ

Let's talk a bit about regrets - we all have them (except Frank Sinatra, though he may be singing a different tune now) - the way I see it, none of our lives are woven seamlessly, even though for a time they may seem so or others lives may seem so - they are a patchwork quilt - holding that image in my head helps tremendously because, as you know, such quilts are composed of different fabrics and colors and various patterns yet the result is a work of great beauty, often preferred to a seamless counterpane of one fabric and one color

once you have that in your mind all the bits and pieces of your life come together in Christ - all the rags that seem ill-fitting, all the fragments that seem connected to nothing of worth or of long-lasting value, all the scraps that don't fit - they all come together in the heartblood of Jesus and create a quilt of unique beauty and lasting value, heirloom quality - so put all those life fragments in Christ's hands and let him make the covering - you carry on and let him worry about how all the different colors and scraps and fabrics will fit, even the long whole pieces of cloth of better seasons that must come alongside the torn bits of bitter seasons - nothing is wasted, nothing is lost - he will bring the pattern out of it all so that even the angels will marvel and future generations will see how the good and bad, the hard and soft, the peace and the pain came together in the grace of Christ

all this to say, it's never too late to do what you love - I wanted to be known as a novelist in my 20s and 30s - here it begins to happen in my 50s - I wanted to do the English university thing and do some teaching and lecturing - now it is happening - I wanted to write theology and be published and have a readership - lo! - so the quilt takes on new hues and designs - go to the path you did not take long ago and take it now - once you begin, brambles will part, thorns fall aside (though some may tear at your cloak), forests open like a blessing, and all the new bits will fit perfectly into the patchwork quilt Christ has been stitching together before the beginning of time - do not leave this world without having tried to do all that you love and especially what you love the most - is not that burning in your heart Christ's burning in your heart? Seek him in prayer and follow his leading and overcome your fear - seek a new life and direction with the love and faith he gives you. Nothing is impossible with God.



Anonymous said...

I was sitting next to the river yesterday, baby in my lap, telling God with my head down what a mess I was. And I looked up and saw that I was seated next to a very odd portion of river, where most flowed straight, but some small bits flowed from around some island, some got caught up in circles, and some almost looked to flow backwards due to certain elevation changes in the river rock. I heard, "Isn't this beautiful?" I had to admit that it. I got up and walked just a few yards on, and noted that the river there was straight and wide, and smooth, reflecting the clouds above. I observed it, and noted that though it was not as pretty, that was more what I thought I should be. It was straight, it was calm, it was efficient in its travel towards its destination. I then heard, "You think you know what I'm looking for, but you don't."

murray said...

Thank you for this. I'm reading it over several times. I hope others will find your comment and read it too. It says a lot. Not knowing you, but knowing Who does know you, I will pray to our mutual Friend for your life and soul and tomorrows. Until the day breaks and the Morning Star rises in our hearts, Murray