An Instrument of Thy Peace
November 12th, 2007 by Sonja

kitchenThis weekend was tough. It began on Friday when I demolished my kitchen. Just took it out.

Not entirely. Not literally. But figuratively and enough that it is virtually unuseable. We hired a painter to come in an paint the kitchen and our eat-in area for us. He got most of it done, but not all. He thought he’d get it all done. But there are a few dribbles left. He was miraculous to watch.

No. Tape.

Now the kitchen looks like Fresh Butter. Beautiful.

We left early Saturday morning for another hockey weekend … this time to Raleigh, NC. Two very hard hockey games and two demoralizing losses later we arrived back home Sunday afternoon. The girls learned more about working losing together as a team, but this was brutally difficult work and it hurt to watch them go through it.

We spent a lot of time in the car (7 hours total) and I had a lot time to think. Jamie has been doing a Friday series on St. Francis that I’ve been enjoying. I didn’t really know why until this weekend. But all the tiles fell into place on the car ride.

In another life time (before kids), I used to do counted cross-stitch. It was one of my hobbies before quilting took over. I’ve had many hobbies in my life. I also used to do stained glass (I’ll tell that story another time). This was also during the days before I knew Jesus too. A friend taught me how to count my stitches. There is something very soothing to me about this hobby. It’s extremely controlled and yet … almost anything can be created with your stitches. I love that.

Shortly after I learned the basics my friend and her mom took me to a store to buy a pattern and supplies so that I could make something of my own. I still remember that first pattern and project … in part, because I never finished it! This is the story of my life. I manage to complete projects I’m doing for someone else. The projects I do for me, languish on a shelf. It’s still here in a box somewhere. I picked it because it was a prayer that I wanted for myself. I read this prayer and connected with it on so many levels. It was the prayer that is commonly known as the Prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

I fell in love with it because it was simple, heartfelt, and unadorned. The project was the words of the prayer surrounded by dogwood blossoms, which are prevalent in the spring here in Virginia. I can still see it in my mind’s eye. Someday, I may find that project again and finish it up. I stitched the words, but got overwhelmed with the blossoms. I moved on to other projects; then to stained glass and then quilting. But I’ve always felt a special connection with St. Francis because of that silly, unfinished project that spoke to me long before I could hear Jesus speaking.

It is, in my mind, an ebenezer … a marker or monument, to the working of God in my life before I recognized it or truly recognized Him. I think that’s why I’ve been enjoying Jamie’s series so much. At long last, I’m learning more about the saint who spoke through the centuries into my heart when I couldn’t hear much of anything else.

One Response  
  • Peggy writes:
    November 15th, 20073:12 amat

    Hello, sister!

    Have you seen “Abi’s Inspiration from St. Francis” down at the bottom of my blog? It is striking….

    I have a bedspread I began crocheting about 27 years ago…don’t know when (if?) that will get finished! :^)

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