Her work was long in the doing, rich in the viewing. As time had allowed, square by threaded square, a creative woman, a loving wife, a devoted mother, an aging grandmother depicted with thread and needle, her family's story embedded in squares of a quilt. Occasions for pride and for humor were stitched in. Baptisms remembered. Endearing phrases preserved. All with a thread running through a quilt. Moreover, in a deeper way her hand had lovingly shaped the very lives celebrated in her work. But she also knew of another hand that had reached in to her very world, giving life to her and hers. One that reached back before the beginnings of time and would be there one day to receive her beyond the end of time. It had caressed her life and the lives of those she touched. She knew it. She had, through it all, abided in it. And she was thankful for it.
Dear Lord, Giver of all good things, we pray you, abide in the heart of your people that we may so be drawn to your ways as to abide in them for the good of all your human family. Amen.
John 15:9-17 (NRSV)
9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.
17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.