Micah 6:8 – He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)
I think that often, in our Christian faith, we think that we have to have a big story to tell, a turning point in our lives that will make people really sit up and listen. You know, like the story of Saul, who was stopped in his tracks on the way to Damascus to persecute the Christians and then he became one of the great apostles for the Church. Is that who we are called to be? Another Paul?
And then every once in while we meet those quiet pilgrims in the faith. Today, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine and sister in Christ. Her name is Betty Ann and when she was asked to share a little bit of herself and her faith at a Christian gathering a while ago, she responded, "Who? Me? What could I say?" She went away, thought about it, and came up with this:
- As many of you know, I am a quilter. A quilt has three parts: the backing, the filling and the top. I would like to share with you the pattern of my life's quilt. When a quilter begins to quilt, the first thing they need is a plan, a guide, a study – just as we need to study God's Word from the Bible and to pray every day. The top of the quilt is usually made up of small pieces joined together – a memory quilt is one of loved ones, family, friends, teachers, leaders, ministers – people we have known who cared for us and loved us through the years. We all experience rainy days and bright sunny days. In quilting you will see dark colours and light colours. Quilters have to learn how to contrast colours. Life isn't given to us by the meter's length, it comes in bits and pieces, small patches of time and from them each must make their own quilt of life.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, it says, "Meanwhile these three remain, faith, hope and love; and the greatest is love."
In the making of my life's quilt, the backing is faith, the top is hope, the filling is God's love, and it is stitched together with my love, my service to others and to God.
I think Betty Ann has caught the essence of what our journey of faith is all about. I am not a quilter like Betty Ann, but I love to admire the finished product. All of us have been given different materials (different experiences) to work with in our life's quilt and so we're all a little bit different. There are no two quilts that will look the same, but God does give us the resources to make a beautiful living quilt: faith, hope, and love!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the resources that you have given to us to create our life's quilt. Thank you that you have created us all differently. We thank you for people like Paul and we thank you for people like Betty Ann and for the variety of people in between. Open our eyes to see the value and the colours of the living quilts all around us. Help us to understand and appreciate the diversity of your creation in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.