by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM Ireland 06.11.2022
Embroidery on paper is a hobby that I picked up later in life. Strange, isn’t it? I think of myself as physically a bit clumsy, but at least my hands work well. I make greeting cards, and this is a useful skill in a house where the elderly Sisters keep up written contact with people in the various countries where they were in active ministry. Recently, one Sister made a comment that stayed with me for days.
She was looking at a card I was making, admiring the pattern and the delicacy of the work. Then she turned it over to the back. This is where the threads are cut and glued together, where pattern is not so obviously, where one thread shoots across the page to start up again in another spot. Frankly, the back of the card looks messy. Eventually I put a backing on this so that the finished card hides the cut threads.
“That is exactly like our life”, said Eileen Mary. “We only see the tumble and mess and God turns us over and sees the beautiful pattern that is out true self”. How wise, I thought. And then I realised another truth. The pattern I was making was made from small bits of thread. These are the bits that are left over from a larger pattern, but still too long to just throw away. For God, too, there are no scraps. Everything has a use in the economy of the universe. Everything forms a pattern. There are times when I cannot see the grand scale of things. I get bogged down in the messiness of everyday life.
This is when I am called to trust. Trust in God who has a wider, more loving and embracing sense of who I am. More importantly, every day encourages me to thread my needle and embroider an even more beautiful self.
So today I ask for the grace to attend to the small things of life – God will make the pattern in the long run!