Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why Yes, I Do Crave Yarn on All Saints' Day...

This post originally appeared on my family blog, November 15, 2011. It is a reflection on knitting in conversation with the collect for All Saints' Day, which the Church celebrates today. Said collect always makes me want to grab some yarn and knit me some elect... I later wrote additional knitting/spiritual reflection type thoughts here

An unexpected hobby emerged from my CREDO experience: knitting.  Seriously.  What took me so long?  Grateful to Dina and Leigh for their patient instructions and to many, many others for their kind words and encouragement - Melissa, Chris, Beth, Heidi, and co.  Grateful to the lady in the Asheville airport who got me going again when my cast-on row had come undone and all my friends had flown home.  Grateful to the random guy with kind words as we deplaned in Houston.  It takes a village...

Anyway, knitting lends itself to contemplation, so I shouldn't be surprised by the connections and lessons it's tried to teach me (already), but I am.  Here are some of them:

1) Forgiveness is like learning to undo a stitch.  It beats the hell out of tearing up the whole thing.

2) When, as on All Saints', we pray

"O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one Communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those indescribable joys which thou hast prepared for those who truly love thee: through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting."

we should defer to the knitters and make them preach.  Read through the lens of the fellowship of the saints, knitting is the embodiment of Ubuntu:  "I am what I am because of who we all are," or as Desmond Tutu put it once:

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed." 

3) If knitting approximates God's joy in bringing each of us into being ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" Ps 139:13), it's no wonder God keeps going.  I can't stop, either.

4) Point number 1 notwithstanding, if knitting approximates God's joy in bring us into being, I totally get the temptation to tear it all up and start from scratch, and I commend God for only doing it once.

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