Lent, the six week period leading up to Easter, is one of the most important times of the year for many Christians. It is usually a solemn observance and preparation for the celebrations of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter.
It’s a traditional time of fasting, abstaining from or giving something up. The more orthodox and traditional denominations will observe a strict fast with the abstinence of meat, fish, eggs and fats until Easter. Others may choose to give up a luxury item, perhaps chocolate, alcohol or their favorite Starbucks coffee. Maybe they choose to stop watching TV, turn off social media, or quit dining out in order to refocus on their faith during this time.
Just as we prepare for celebrations such as weddings and birthdays in our personal lives; Lent invites us to prepare our minds and hearts for remembering Jesus’ life death and resurrection.
Without really realizing it, making BJ’s quilt has been my “Lent,” if you will, this year.
I began working on it February 15 with a shopping trip with her to select the fabrics and colors. Since then, I spent an average of eight hours daily planning, cutting and sewing.
There were many evenings that I sat with the quilt in my lap hand quilting late into the night.
Each day as I began work on the quilt, I started the mornings with a prayer, turned my laptop on, clicked on the Bible Broadcasting Network and listened to bible teachings, music and audio readings of Christian Classic books (I really enjoyed “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom), or I would switch to just meditation instrumental worship and praise music. I sat at my sewing machine or favorite chair and stitched, listened, prayed and meditated.
The double wedding ring patterns reminded me that God’s love for me is everlasting, it has no beginning, no end. (Psalm 103:17 – But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—)
The white muslin and colorful squares of patchwork joined together, reminded me that through my faith and belief in Christ, I too am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.)
Sunday, April 5, I could see light at the end of the tunnel. I was on the home stretch. My plans were to have the quilt finished by Easter.
Thursday I put in the last stitch in the quilt. I exclaimed, “It is finished!” The quilt was finished, but I had not completed the whole job I had set out to do.…I still had pillow shams and throw pillows to make.
On Good Friday I used the fabric remnants to make throw pillows. As I finished them, again I exclaimed, “It is finished!” Immediately, I thought of Christ’s last word’s, ”It is finished,” as He died on the cross on this day… I stopped and gave thanks for the depth of His love. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…)
I marveled at the finished quilt. I still couldn’t quite believe that I had made it. I thanked God for my renewed gift of sewing.
This morning I sent some pictures of the quilt to BJ, telling her it was ready to be picked up. I commented that it wasn’t perfect, but neither are we. To which she replied, “Perfectly done from the heart.”
I believe the words of Billy Graham captures what “perfectly done from the heart” truly is.
“For the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection.” -Billy Graham
“Easter always brings hope to all of us. For the Christian, the Cross tells us that God understands our suffering, for He took upon Himself at the Cross all of our sins and all of our failures and all of our sufferings. Our Lord, on that cross, asked the question, “Why?” “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” And he received his answer, he knew. To redeem the world, to save you and me from our sins, to give us assurance that if we died we’re going to heaven. He was saying from the cross, I love you and I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pain that you feel.
Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the Cross to the hope of the empty tomb. It tells us that there is hope for eternal life for Christ has conquered death. It also tells us that God has triumphed over evil and death and hell. This is our hope and it can be your hope as well.”
BJ and her husband stopped by my house this afternoon to pick up her quilt ensemble. She gave a generous donation to the Run For The Sun mission efforts as a way of thanking me for making her quilt, commenting on the sacrifice of time it must have taken. (300 hours. Give or take one or two. But who’s counting.)
Sacrifice? No, just another quilt stitched in love on a journey of faith, drawing me closer to God as I listen for His whisperings of grace.
Now…What to do to fill my time with as we wait out the “stay-at-home” order during this pandemic? Guess I will be making face masks. Quilted or no?
How have you been filling your time?
Until next time…stay safe, stay well, stay in the Word of God, and always be listening for whisperings of grace.